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Taff pleads guilty to wire fraud

Sentencing to be Feb. 13 for former congressional candidate

November 28, 2005, 11:26 a.m. Updated November 28, 2005, 11:38 p.m.


Adam Taff, the former Republican candidate for Congress, today pleaded guilty in federal court to charges that he illegally used campaign contributions to set up a fraudulent home mortgage.

Taff, 40, Lake Quivira, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of violating federal campaign law during a hearing before U.S. District Judge John W. Lungstrum in Kansas City, Kan. Taff had pleaded not guilty to the charges in September.

Sentencing is set for Feb. 13, 2006. He is free on bond. He faces a maximum penalty on the wire fraud charge of 30 years in federal prison and a fine up to $1 million. The maximum penalty on the campaign fund charge is five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.

The charges stem from a grand jury indictment in August, alleging Taff and John Myers hatched a scheme in which Taff would appear to have made a $300,000 down payment on a $1.2 million home in Lake Quivira that he had agreed to buy from Myers.

According to the indictment, Taff withdrew $300,000 from his campaign's accounts at Metcalf State Bank on Feb. 10, 2004, and applied it toward a bank check payable to Myers and Myers' wife.

At the time, Myers was founder and chairman of Myers National Mortgage Co.

Taff, who worked for Myers' company, was a Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from the 3rd District, which includes Johnson and Wyandotte counties and part of Douglas County.

For more on this story, pick up a copy of Tuesday's Journal-World.

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Steve Jacob 12 years, 2 months ago

You had to know he was never going to get hard time. But he will have an interesting job resume. Air Force pilot AND convicted felon.

memoirs_of_a_sleepwalker 12 years, 2 months ago

Arminius, Do tell how this situation is ultimately Clinton's fault!

Run, run! Find something on your crackpot website!

badger 12 years, 2 months ago

Ah, well, seems that no matter what I do, my tax dollars will go to pay all the living expenses of a politician. I saw the article you posted about, staff04. It's a pretty bleak day for faith in the system.

Given the usual treatment of political white-collar crime, I wonder if he'll get the really 'rough' minimum-security treatment, or if his prison's golf course will be the full 18 holes instead of just the front 9.

Kookamooka 12 years, 2 months ago

It doesn't matter how many convicts live in the Republican Party people will still vote for them. I think there are citizens, "Americans", who admire their "balls". YEEE HAW!!

Keep working on your swagger Democrats!

DGL 12 years, 2 months ago

Taff must be another victim of the "criminalization of politics." Thanks, Fox News!

Jamesaust 12 years, 2 months ago

Well, here again we the LJW doesn't quite answer the question of what really was happening.

We know: a. Taff "borrowed" campaign funds (one felony - doesn't matter if it was only temporary or that he paid it back); b. Taff and his boss "laundered" the money into the form of a bank check made out to the boss and his wife and represented that to (I believe) the title company as a down-payment (another felony - fraud). c. The money was then returned to the campaign fund and not paid as a downpayment.

Question is: since everything has to balance at the end of the day, did Taff and his boss defraud the mortgage company by fiddling with the books, making it appear that a downpayment had in fact been made (and perhaps hoping that rapid property value appreciation would make up the difference - essentially making the downpayment "free" once the property was sold in a few years and the capital gain realized), or did Taff's boss essentially give him the money (and if so why)?

The answer will no doubt influence the sentencing. Given that Taff has friends in high places, and arguably has given considerable service to his country, he need not fear the maximum sentence at all. And without implying that Judge Lungstrum is "easy," he's hardly a vindictive or overly harsh judge, and while a Republican appointee, he'll probably be just as much perplexed at Taff's behavior as angry.

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