When a person has been elected to serve as a public official, he or she has a responsibility to hold the position with utmost honor and integrity. However, with so much power that comes with an official position in government, elected officials can sometimes find themselves accused of crimes such as committing fraud or stealing. This is what Ohio state Representative Clayton Luckie is being accused of after being indicted on 49 charges of various white collar crimes.
The FBI agents who were investigating the lawmaker claim that Luckie used funds from his campaign to pay himself via ATM withdrawals and checks written to himself. The agents are also accusing Luckie of creating fake documents indicating that he had spent money at places, such as hotels. However, authorities assert that the lawmaker did not actually spend the funds in the manner that the documents indicate.
Some of the supposedly fraudulent expenses included 169 withdrawals from his campaign ATM, which totaled $19,000. He also allegedly wrote checks to himself for a total of $9,825. Authorities additionally claim that Luckie made 800 illegal debit card transactions for $40,000. Reports claim that the elected official used the campaign funds to purchase luxury items such as jewelry. He also made various trips to casinos.
Although the white collar crimes that the lawmaker is accused of committing are serious indictments, in the eyes of the law he is assumed innocent until proven guilty. All defendants are guaranteed the right to defend themselves in a court of law against such accusations of wrongdoing. However, this will require a thorough examination of the evidence against the defendant. Many times a defendant in Ohio may be able to challenge the validity of the alleged evidence on a variety of legal grounds.
Source: WBNS-10TV, “Ohio State Lawmaker Indicted On Theft, Money Laundering Charges,” Oct. 10, 2012