Whiting mayor to plead guilty to fraud charges

By The Associated Press

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — A Northwest Indiana mayor has agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud and filing a false income tax return, a federal prosecutor said Thursday.

Whiting Mayor Joseph Stahura, 64, has entered into a plea agreement indicating his intent to plead guilty to both charges, U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II said.

His wife, Diane Stahura, also 64, has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement wherein she acknowledges the government has enough evidence to charge her with wire fraud, Kirsch said.

Stahura, mayor since 2004, illegally used about $255,000 of campaign funds for personal use and expenditures such as gambling, credit card debt and providing financial support to an adult daughter for more than five years, Kirsch said.

If the plea agreement is accepted by the court, the length of sentence and amount of restitution will be determined by the court, Kirsch said.

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