WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Opening statements began in the trial of a former Kansas lawmaker accused of multiple federal crimes, including money laundering, wire fraud, and false statements to obtain pandemic assistance-related loans.

Michael Capps is being tried on 18 counts:

  • False statement to a bank for a PPP loan
  • Bank fraud – PPP Loan
  • Three counts of false statements to the Small Business Administration (SBA) for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan
  • Three counts of wire fraud, SBA
  • Two counts of wire fraud, Kansas Dept. of Commerce
  • Eight counts of money laundering

Capps was initially indicted on 19 counts, however, on Dec. 9, federal court records show there was an “unopposed motion to dismiss count 11 by USA” in the proceedings. That charge was for wire fraud against Sedgwick County.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Metzger is prosecuting the case. During opening statements, Metzger outlined the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) inspection into Capps companies saying the agency uncovered bank records and tax documents where Capps “vastly overstated” gross revenues, annual payroll, and how many employees there were in his application for loans.

Defense Attorney Kurt Kerns argues there was an incomplete investigation by the FBI, who made no attempt to interview his client. Kerns says there were clerical mistakes on his applications, not an attempt to defraud anyone. He says the FBI only began their investigation due to an article in the Wichita Eagle and implied the prosecution was politically motivated.

Testimony will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 14.