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A prominent political consultant who is Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's brother-in-law pleaded guilty Thursday to fraud charges in a scheme to cheat banks out of money.

In a plea bargain, Raymond Reggie admitted to one count of bank fraud and one count of bank fraud conspiracy. Judge Carl Barbier set sentencing for Oct. 26.

The conspiracy count carries up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, while the bank fraud charge carries up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Terms of the plea deal were not immediately available.

Defense attorney Michael Ellis declined to comment outside the courtroom. After the charges were filed in February, Reggie would only say: "There's a lot more to it."

Reggie's sister, Victoria, is married to Kennedy, D-Mass. Reggie runs a media consulting firm and as a political consultant has worked on the campaigns of Democrats including former President Bill Clinton, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore.

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