Ex-Traficant aide pleads guilty to bank fraud charges

AKRON, Ohio (AP) – A staff attorney for former U.S. Rep. James Traficant who testified at the Ohio Democrat’s corruption trial has pleaded guilty to federal bank fraud charges.

Fifty-one-year-old R. Allen Sinclair of Suwanee, Georgia, entered his plea this week in Akron. He was indicted in May on charges related to a real estate scheme that authorities said bilked $147,000 from investors. Sentencing is scheduled for May 10.

Sinclair made headlines in 2002 when he testified at Traficant’s trial that he kicked back $2,500 a month from his congressional salary to the Youngstown-area congressman. Traficant served seven years in federal prison after a jury in Cleveland found him guilty of bribery and other charges. He died in 2014 after a tractor tipped over on him.

Sinclair’s public defender didn’t return telephone calls Friday.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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