April 12 (UPI) — A federal jury on Thursday found former U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman guilty of 23 felonies related to using charitable donations from big money donors for personal and campaign expenses.
Stockman, 61, faces 20 years in federal prison for each felony conviction, which includes 11 counts of money laundering, seven counts of mail and wire fraud, two counts of making false statements to the Federal Election Commission, one count of making coordinated excessive campaign contributions, one count of conspiracy to make conduit campaign contributions, and one count of filing a false tax return.
Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 17.
“Stephen Stockman abused his position as United States Congressman to defraud charitable donors and then used the proceeds of his crimes to corrupt the election process and make a range of impermissible personal expenditures,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Cronan said in a statement.
Prosecutors accused Stockman of soliciting donations of more than $2 million for a non-profit entity. About half of that money went to the charity, while the other half was used to pay for Stockman’s personal and campaign expenses.
“Stockman used this donation for a variety of personal and campaign expenses, including illegal conduit campaign contributions, a covert surveillance project targeting a perceived political opponent and payments associated with Stockman’s U.S. Senate campaign in early 2014,” prosecutors said.
Two former staffers of Stockman — Thomas Dodd, 38, and Jason Posey, 46 — were involved in the scheme and pleaded guilty before Stockman’s trial.
Stockman, a Republican from Texas, served two non-consecutive terms in Congress. His first term was betwen 1995 and 1997, when he represented Texas’ 9th district. His next term was in 2013 to 2015, when he represented Texas’ 36th district.
He chose not to run for re-election in 2014 and instead ran in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate, where he lost to incumbent Sen. Jon Cornyn, R-Texas.
Stockman was indicted on the felony charges last year.