HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — A federal jury has convicted a northwestern Indiana mayor and his wife of wire fraud and other charges for improperly using funds from his campaign and his city’s food pantry.
The jury deliberated five hours Friday before finding Lake Station Mayor Keith Soderquist and his wife, Deborah Soderquist, guilty of conspiracy, seven counts of wire fraud and three counts of filing false income tax returns.
Prosecutors argued the couple made more than 40 ATM withdrawals from the campaign and food pantry accounts within 24 hours of visiting casinos from 2010 to 2012.
Defense attorney Scott King said his clients were victims of a witch hunt and he plans to seek a new trial.
Under state law, Soderquist forfeits his position as mayor of the city of 13,000 east of Gary.