NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana state senator has pleaded not guilty to making false statements to a federal agency about his New Orleans rental property.

Sen. Wesley Bishop entered his plea on Monday at his first court appearance.

The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reports Bishop received a $188,000 state loan in 2012 to fix up a New Orleans apartment building damaged by Hurricane Katrina and rent it out at low rates for 10 years. But the U.S. Attorney’s Office says Bishop lied to the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department by saying he was renting to tenants who didn’t exist. The Sewerage and Water Board said it hadn't serviced the apartments since 2013.

Bishop, a Democrat, could face up to five years in prison if convicted.

RELATED: State Senator Wesley Bishop charged in federal court with making false statement

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