Ex-Councilman Will Stand Trial Anew on Charges of Loan Fraud

Times Staff Writer

Former Westminster City Councilman Gil Hodges, who successfully appealed his 1983 conviction on federal loan fraud charges, will stand trial for a second time next month, a Los Angeles federal court judge ruled Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge David V. Kenyon set a Feb. 4 trial date. Hodges, 42, told Kenyon that he is indigent and needs a court-appointed attorney to represent him at the trial.

After the hearing, Hodges told reporters that he is innocent.

Hodges and four associates were charged in a federal indictment with fraudulently obtaining about $1.2 million in federally insured bank loans in 1981 and 1982 to buy about a dozen Huntington Beach homes.

During the trial, the prosecution alleged that the scheme was masterminded by Hodges' late brother, Barclay, in an attempt to launder profits from cocaine sales. Barclay was shot to death in 1982 in a cocktail lounge at John Wayne Airport.

In 1983, the four others charged with fraud pleaded guilty, but Hodges went to trial and was convicted and sentenced to three months in jail.

In September, a federal appeals court ruled that although there was "legally sufficient evidence" to support the jury's guilty verdict, Kenyon had erred by allowing the jury to hear prejudicial testimony implicating Hodges in an alleged extortion scheme involving a defendant who testified against him. The appellate court ordered that Hodges be retried.

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