Check signatures debated in Hayes trial

Posted: Sunday, January 27, 2008

FAIRBANKS - The daughter of former Fairbanks Mayor Jim Hayes said she never knowingly approved improperly using federal funds intended to serve disadvantage children for a cash-strapped church project.

LaNene Scott, who helped found the LOVE Social Services tutoring center, testified Friday in her father's federal fraud trial.

Hayes and his wife, Chris, are accusing of steering almost a half-million federal dollars for personal purchases and the couple's Lily of the Valley Church of God in Christ, where Jim Hayes served as pastor.

Chris Hayes last month pleaded guilty to two charges.

Jim Hayes faces 28 counts, including theft, laundering money and fraud.

In her testimony Friday, Scott said she didn't recognize her signature on a number of the checks the government says improperly went to help build and furnish the church. She said she did co-sign many of the checks presented by prosecutors, who are trying to connect withdrawals from social service grants to spending at the church as part of an alleged theft and money laundering scheme.

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