Ex-Kansas legislator convicted of COVID aid fraud sentenced to greater than 2 years in US jail

TOPEKA, Kan. — A former Kansas lawmaker who was convicted of 12 felonies for mendacity on purposes for federal COVID-19 aid was sentenced Thursday to 2 years and three months in jail, in response to on-line court docket data.

An lawyer for former Republican state Rep. Michael Capps argued for probation in court docket paperwork, citing Capps’ Air Pressure service in a fight zone. However prosecutors requested for a sentence of 4 years and three months in jail, arguing in court docket paperwork that he “continues to indicate neither regret nor contrition” over stealing practically $500,000 in funds meant to assist companies stay afloat throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Along with the jail time, U.S. District Choose Eric Melgren sentenced Capps to 2 years of supervised launch, and he ordered him to pay greater than a half-million {dollars} in restitution and the forfeiture of unlawful proceeds, The Wichita Eagle reported.

A jury convicted the 45-year-old former lawmaker in December of 4 counts of wire fraud, 4 counts of cash laundering, three counts of creating false statements on mortgage purposes and one depend of financial institution fraud. The jury acquitted him of six expenses, and one other cost was dismissed earlier than his trial.

Capps served a single time period within the Kansas Home in 2019-20 and misplaced his 2020 Republican main race.

Prosecutors stated Capps filed types inflating the variety of workers he had at two companies and a sports activities basis, then utilized for loans to pay the nonexistent workers.

In a court docket submitting forward of Thursday’s listening to, Capps’ lawyer Kurt Kerns described Capps as a “single father and disabled American veteran who has no legal historical past” and known as for a sentence of 5 years of probation.

Capps served within the Air Pressure in Afghanistan and Pakistan for practically seven months in 2001-02 below “harsh and harmful fight situations” and obtained a number of decorations, the protection submitting stated. Capps was identified with post-traumatic stress dysfunction in 2018, the submitting stated, and the situation makes folks extra more likely to have interaction in dangerous conduct.

The protection submitting additionally stated Capps suffers from medical issues akin to hypertension and can be “at the next threat of dying or critical sickness” if he contracts COVID-19, which is extra seemingly in jail.

However Assistant U.S. Legal professional Molly Gordon argued within the prosecutors’ sentencing memo that Capps had engaged in “goal-oriented deceit,” utilizing faux payroll numbers, employment knowledge and income figures in filling out mortgage purposes.

“This Courtroom ought to reject the defendant’s continued efforts to keep away from accountability, which sign his chance to persist in comparable conduct sooner or later,” Gordon wrote.


Observe John Hanna on Twitter: https://twitter.com/apjdhanna

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