John D. Myers, a co-defendant with former congressional candidate Adam Taff in a federal mortgage-fraud case, pleaded guilty Friday to one count of wire fraud, the Kansas City Star reported Saturday.

Myers changed his plea to guilty at a hearing before U.S. District Judge John W. Lungstrum in Kansas City, Kan., the Star reported. The co-defendant admitted he had agreed to sell a $1.2 million house in Lake Quivira, Kan., to Taff, reports said.

Myers admitted that Taff withdrew $300,000 from his campaign committee accounts and purchased an official bank check payable to Myers and his wife, according to the Star.

Myers admitted that he and Taff then met with a closing agent at a title company and represented the check as a down payment, even though they did not intend to make that down payment, the Star reported.

Taff, with Myers’ consent, then took the check back to the bank and deposited the funds back into his campaign accounts, accounts said.

During the hearing, J.R. Hobbs, who is Myers’ attorney, told Lungstrum that Myers thought he was helping a friend get a loan and that his actions were a result of bad judgment, the Star reported.

Details of the plea agreement were not fully available, but some key issues discussed in court indicated that the fraud has not resulted in any loss at this time, indicating that Taff has not defaulted on the mortgage loan, reports said.

If that holds true through sentencing, prosecutors have agreed not to argue for a fine exceeding $50,000, according to the Star. Myers would be able to withdraw his plea if the loss amount changes and prosecutors decide to seek a higher fine, according to the Star.

Myers founded and was chairman of an Overland Park mortgage company that employed Taff at the time of the alleged crime, the Star reported.

Earlier this week, Lungstrum denied Taff’s request to dismiss charges that the former congressional candidate misused campaign funds to obtain a mortgage loan, according to the Star.

Taff faces one count of wire fraud and one count of violating the Federal Election Campaign Act, reports said.

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to janis@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 140.

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