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Former state Sen. Sam McCann pleads not guilty to wire fraud

February 24, 2021 GMT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Former state senator and gubernatorial candidate Sam McCann has pleaded not guilty to federal charges alleging he illegally spent more than $200,000 in campaign funds on debts and personal expenses and to pay himself.

The 51-year-old Plainview Republican was appointed a public defender during a hearing Tuesday after he told Magistrate Judge Eric Long that he was unemployed, being supported by his wife and had more than $30,000 in credit card debt and loans, The State-Journal-Register reported.

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McCann was indicted Feb. 3 on charges of wire fraud, money laundering and tax evasion. He’s accused of spending funds donated to his state Senate campaigns and his unsuccessful Conservative Party bid for governor in 2018. He was a state senator from 2011 to early 2019,

Public defender Rosie Brown entered McCann’s not guilty plea. McCann didn’t comment during the hearing except to answer questions from Long.