File photo. Courtesy WRAL.
Raleigh, NC -- A former North Carolina lawmaker is set to face a jury over accusations he used a pair of government-funded non-profit corporations as personal piggy banks.
Stephen A. LaRoque is will go on trial Monday on a dozen felony charges. Federal prosecutors allege the Kinston Republican scammed taxpayers to finance a lavish lifestyle that included $2.1 million in salary payments and $300,000 in interest-free personal loans used to buy a house, new cars, an ice-skating rink and a collection of jewel-encrusted Fabergi eggs.
LaRoque's lawyers say he's not guilty because he was legally entitled to the money.
LaRoque was elected to three terms in the N.C. House and served as the powerful co-chairman of the House Rules Committee. He faces a maximum sentence of 96 years in federal prison.