WASHINGTON (UPI) — Former Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison for using charitable donations for his own personal and campaign expenses.
Stockman, 61, also was ordered to serve three years of supervised release and pay more than $1 million in restitution for orchestrating a four-year scheme to defraud big-money donors to secretly funnel the funds to himself and his campaign, the U.S. Department of Justice said.
“Former Congressman Stockman was entrusted by his constituents to serve in their best interest,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno said. “Instead, Stockman used his position in a series of schemes for personal gain at the expense of the public. Today’s sentence should send a clear message that the laws of the land apply to everyone, regardless of position or power.”
A jury found Stockman guilty of 23 felonies in April after prosecutors accused him of soliciting donations for a non-profit entity. About half of those funds went to charity, while the rest was used to pay for Stockman’s personal and campaign expenses.
The charges included 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.
Two of Stockman’s former staffers — Thomas Dodd, 38, and Jason Posey, 46 — also were involved in the scheme and both pleaded guilty.
Evidence presented during the trial stated Stockman and his co-defendants solicited more than $1.3 million in donations from charitable organizations and the individual who ran them based on false pretenses and went on to launder the money through a series of false non-profit organizations and dozens of bank accounts.
Stockman served two non-consecutive terms in Congress as a Republican in Texas. His first term was between 1995 and 1997, when he represented Texas’ 9th District followed by another term in 2013 to 2015, when he represented Texas’ 36th District.
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