REGIONAL

A man identified as a business associate of former Republican Congressman George Hansen has been charged in connection with a multimillion-dollar securities scheme labeled a fraud by state regulators.Minidoka County Prosecutor Charles Creason said Wednesday he has filed 14 counts of insufficient fund checks totaling $2 million against Brad Neibaur of Rupert, and court documents showed the check-kiting scheme ultimately involved nearly 10 times that amount in its final month.

The charge said Neibaur was "acting in concert with George Hansen and John Scoresby . . . with intent to defraud the Bank of Commerce of Idaho Falls."

Creason said he has turned all the information developed during his investigation over to U.S. Attorney Maurice Ellsworth and Bonneville County Prosecutor Kimball Mason because "it doesn't appear from our investigation that Scoresby or Hansen were in Minidoka County so they could not be charged here."

Neibaur faces an initial court appearance on May 23. Each insufficient check charge carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Neither Ellsworth nor Mason have filed any additional charges in the ongoing criminal investigation into the financial activities of Hansen and Scoresby, Hansen's former congressional field representative and currently a state Republican Party regional chairman. No criminal charges have been filed against either man.

Hansen served nearly a year in federal prison after being convicted in 1984 of falsifying federal financial disclosure statements.