Former Indiana state Rep. Sean Eberhart plans to plead guilty to fraud

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revision: This article has been updated to show that Sean Eberhart has not officially pleaded to the charges as of November 10.

A former Indiana state lawmaker has announced his intention to plead guilty to fraud charges in Indiana’s Southern District Court — charges that could result in prison time.

like Reported for the first time By Hanna News Former state Rep. Sean Eberhart, R-Shelbyville, plans to plead guilty to conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government, according to court documents filed late Thursday afternoon.

Eberhart was charged with committing honest services fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and three years of supervised release.

Eberhart’s attorney, Patrick Cotter, requested a plea agreement to prevent the former Shelbyville actor from facing the maximum penalty, according to court documents.

Eberhardt agreed to pay $60,000 in restitution.

Court documents filed Thursday do not detail the details of his fraud case, but say the FBI collected text messages, call logs, digital photos of documents, “secret recordings of conversations with Eberhart” and records of his statements and actions at the FBI. Indiana Legislature.

Who is former State Rep. Sean Eberhart?

Sean Eberhart was a member of the Indiana House of Representatives representing District 57, which includes Shelby County and parts of Hancock and Bartholomew counties. He served for 16 years before leaving office on November 9, 2022.

What did Eberhardt do while in office?

While in office, Eberhardt served as Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee and was a member of the House Public Policy Committee.

According to Ballotpedia, Eberhardt was also appointed to the House Environmental Affairs Committee and the House Financial Institutions Committee from 2019 to 2020.

In 2021, Eberhart was in the news as one of several Republican lawmakers who got into a heated exchange with Black lawmakers during a public debate over a bill that some viewed as discriminatory. After tensions spilled into the hallway, Eberhart said Rep. Vanessa Summers, D-Indianapolis, called him a racist, accusations Eberhart vehemently denied.

Tensions worsened: Republicans shout and boo their Black colleagues who talk about discrimination on the House floor

John Tufts covers breaking news and trending news for the Indianapolis Star. Send him a news tip at JTufts@Gannett.com.

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