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GOP ‘rising star’ in Kansas facing 290 years in prison after felony indictments

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The United States Attorney for Kansas unsealed federal charges against Sedgwick County, Kansas Commissioner Michael O’Donnell on Friday.

Commissioner O’Donnell, 33, is charged with five counts of wire fraud, five counts of bank fraud and two counts of money laundering.

He is facing 30 years in federal prison and a $1 million fine for each of the 5 counts of bank fraud, 20 years and a $250,000 fine for each of the five counts of wire fraud and 20 years and a $500,000 fine for each of the 2 counts of money laundering.

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If convicted on all charges, Commissioner O’Donnell could be facing 290 years in federal prison and up to $7.25 million in fines.

The charges are related to O’Donnell’s successful campaign as a Republican running for the state legislature.

“O’Donnell has been a rising star in Kansas Republican politics, but has had his share of trouble along the way,” The Wichita Eagle reported.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Aaron Smith and Mona Furst are prosecuting Commissioner O’Donnell; the case was investigated by FBI Special Chuck Pritchett of the FBI and Detective Jon Gill of the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office. Kansas U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister was nominated by President Donald Trump.

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“Michael always played a little fast and loose, but the seriousness of these charges, I don’t think anybody would have predicted this,” House Minority Leader Jim Ward, (D-Wichita) told The Wichita Eagle.

“Wire fraud, bank fraud, money laundering. That’s some serious stuff,” said Sen. Gene Suellentrop (R-Wichita).

Commissioner Richard Ranzau called for O’Donnell to resign in the wake of the indictments.

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Asked if he would resign, O’Donnell’s attorney, Mark Schoenhofer suggested he would not.

“I doubt it,” Schoenhofer replied. “I haven’t talked to him about it, but my belief is he’ll probably continue serving the people of Sedgwick County.”

Watch KSNW report on the indictments:

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