WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Former Kansas state Rep. Michael Capps has pleaded not guilty to 19 counts that allege he tried to defraud federal, state, and local agencies of more than $450,000 in COVID-19 business recovery funds.

Capps entered the plea Wednesday during an initial appearance via video conference with his attorney Kurt Kerns.

The Wichita Republican filed forms inflating the number of employees he had at two businesses and a sports foundation and then applied for loans to pay the non-existent employees. As a result, Capps is charged with multiple counts of making a false statement, bank fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. 

Capps agreed to surrender his passport while he awaits trial.