Brenda Council, who represented the 11th District in the Nebraska State Legislature from 2009 to 2013, has reportedly agreed to plead guilty to a single count of federal wire fraud next week. Council agreed to plead guilty in exchange for the United States Attorney’s Office asking Judge Lyle Strom that she receive probation. Wire fraud is a felony charge that can be punishable with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and fines up to $250,000.
The charge is related to Council’s use of her campaign funds to gamble in casinos two years ago. She was charged with wire fraud because she used a debit card at the out of state casinos. Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning said bank records and security video footage show that Council withdrew $63,052 from her campaign account at ATMs inside of the Sac & Fox casino located in Kansas. Council later deposited $36,166 back into the account and has since agreed to repay the lost $27,000.
Council’s misuse of campaign funds first came to light last year when Bruning filed two abuse-of-public-records charges in Lancaster County Court. Those counts involved her failure to report withdrawals and deposited related to the campaign spending on her last two finance reports. Council pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charges and paid fines of $500.
Brenda Council is scheduled to appear in United States District Court on September 12, 2013.