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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Additional charges have been filed against a former North Carolina state legislator accused of theft and money laundering related to federal funds loaned to his company.

An updated federal indictment now accuses ex-Rep. Stephen LaRoque of Kinston of four more charges, raising the counts against him to 12.

Prosecutors now allege the Republican filed false 2009 and 2010 tax returns and hid details about a scheme to benefit personally from loans designed to help rural communities. LaRoque already is accused of funneling $300,000 to another company he owned to help family members.

LaRoque attorney Joe Cheshire said Wednesday the additional charges issued last week were expected, and LaRoque is preparing to defend himself against all counts. Cheshire has said LaRoque is innocent.

A trial won’t begin until at least mid-February.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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