Uncategorized

LaRoque in federal court this morning on theft charges

Former state Rep. Stephen LaRoque is expected to appear in a federal courtroom this morning, his first hearing to answer to charges that he stole federally-sourced funds from two economic development non-profits he ran.

He’s scheduled to appear in court at 10 a.m., at the federal courthouse in Raleigh, according to court records.

LaRoque, a Kinston Republican who up until recently served in a leadership role in the state legislature, stands accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the East Carolina Development Company and Piedmont Development Company. He resigned from his seat in the House of Representatives following the July indictment on eight charges related to the mismanagement of his non-profits by a federal grand jury.

The non-profits, both funded by LaRoque, were part of a U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program intended to combat poverty by allowing public charities to offer loans to struggling small business that couldn’t get loans from commercial banks.

But instead of doing that, federal prosecutors believe that LaRoque used the federal dollars to help finance his personal life, including buying reproduction Faberge eggs for his wife, a Greenville ice-skating rink, a car and thousands of dollars. (Click here to read our story about the July indictment.)

LaRoque was the subject of an N.C. Policy Watch investigation “Public Money, Personal Gains,” published in August 2011 that found LaRoque earned high salaries while his brother and wife served in key roles as the non-profit’s board of directors. The investigation found USDA’s oversight of LaRoque’s non-profits was lacking.

Over the weekend, the News & Observer published an article about an internal USDA report that found the federal agency’s North Carolina office had been lax in its oversight of the lending program LaRoque was a part of. The state reported $34.6 million in lost federal loans, according to the internal report obtained by the N&O.

We’ll be at this morning’s hearing, so check back with N.C. Policy Watch to find out what happened at this morning’s court hearing.

Check Also

UNC Board of Governors face protest, chooses new board chair and interim president

It was a busy day at the final ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement refuses to disclose any details of probe into alle [...]

Senate favors form of merit selection for judges as alternative to House judicial redistricting bill [...]

North Carolinians hoping to find out who’s been funding Rep. Justin Burr’s crusade this legislative [...]

The SePro Corporation is receiving as much as $1.3 million in taxpayer money to chemically kill the [...]

Lawmakers to return to Raleigh yet again; agenda may include dangerous “de-reg” proposal The North C [...]

The three federal judges could have just come right out and said it: The Republicans who rule the N. [...]

3---number of states that adopted new state Earned Income Tax Credits in 2017---Montana, Hawaii, and [...]

The post Total Eclipse (of Democracy) appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more