- Associated Press - Thursday, August 7, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Former state lawmaker Thad Viers was indicted Thursday on 14 federal charges for his role in hiding assets of a businessman who defaulted on a multi-million paving contract for Interstate 95 in South Carolina, according to court records.

The 36-year-old Myrtle Beach lawyer is charged with money laundering, lying to an IRS agent and a dozen other charges. They carry decades in prison if he is convicted.

It’s the latest brush with the law for Viers, who had his run for U.S. House in 2012 derailed after a harassment arrest that led to a 60-day jail sentence to be served on weekends.

No one answered a phone number for Viers, and court records didn’t list an attorney.

Viers was a Republican who served in the South Carolina House from 2003 until 2012 and was seen as a rising political star before a former girlfriend went to police with a three-ring binder detailing dozens of phone calls, texts and emails from Viers after she told him she didn’t want to speak to him again.

Viers resigned from the state House after his arrest and pleaded guilty to second-degree harassment in January.

The indictment handed up Thursday said Viers helped out Marlon Weaver, who owned a paving company and failed to uphold a contract to pave part of I-95. The default cost an insurance company $6 million, and the company went looking for assets Weaver had to pay back some of the money it lost, prosecutors said.

Weaver listed ownership in a marina and several investments when he was given the contract. Viers helped move those assets to Weaver’s daughters and Weaver backdated the paperwork so it looked like the money was transferred before the default, according to the indictment.

Viers also lied and told the IRS agent that Weaver never told him he was trying to hide the assets, according to the indictment.

Weaver pleaded guilty to money laundering in July 2013 and his sentencing has been delayed while he cooperates with prosecutors.