Ex-lawmaker pleads guilty to misusing campaign funds

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — A former Maryland state lawmaker has pleaded guilty to illegally using campaign funds for her personal benefit.

Tawanna Gaines faces a sentence of up to 20 years, following her plea Thursday to one count of wire fraud. U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang is scheduled to sentence her Jan. 3. Chuang says guidelines call for eight to 33 months in prison, depending on the court’s calculation of her criminal history.

Gaines was charged earlier this month in a criminal information. The Oct. 7 court filing accused Gaines of defrauding her campaign and its contributors out of more than $22,000.

Gaines, a 67-year-old Democrat from Prince George’s County, served in the Maryland House of Delegates since 2001. She resigned less than week before she was charged.

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