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Trial set for government corruption case
Askins to face federal charges May 20
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The project that was called Living the Dream may turn into a nightmare this spring for the three public servants accused of bilking taxpayers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.A trial date has been set for former Upper Cumberland Development District officials Wendy Askins, 53, Larry Webb, 64, and former board chairman and current DeKalb County Mayor Mike Foster, 66.The trial is scheduled May 20 at the federal courthouse in Nashville.Askins, who served as executive director, and Webb, who served as assistant executive director, are charged in federal indictments alleging embezzlement, conspiracy, bank fraud, unlawful monetary transactions and making false statements. They could face 225 years in prison and owe $6 million in fines, although realistically their penalties will not be that harsh if convicted.Foster is charged with a single count of making false statements to the agency’s board of directors in 2012 during a meeting about the transfer of federal funds to Living the Dream. He remains county mayor in DeKalb County and has not commented on his legal issues.Their charges come for illegally funneling money intended for a multi-million dollar senior living facility in Putnam County known as Living the Dream.