Houston News & Search
Former U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman and a former congressional aide were indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury on charges they stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from charitable foundations to fund campaigns and pay personal expenses.
Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez in Houston called the indictment “a very significant case” for the office, according to a news release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Stockman, 60, and his former director of special projects, Jason Posey, 46, were charged with 28 criminal counts, including mail and wire fraud, conspiracy, making false statements to the Federal Election Commission, making excessive campaign contributions and money laundering.
Photo: Godofredo A. Vasquez, Houston Chronicle
Stockman also faces a charge of filing a false tax return, and Posey is charged with falsifying a sworn statement to obstruct an investigation by federal elections officials.
Stockman was arrested earlier this month on a federal complaint as he tried to board a plane for the United Arab Emirates. He maintains his innocence and says he will be vindicated.
Thomas Dodd, a former special assistant in Stockman’s congressional office, pleaded guilty to his involvement in the scheme last week.
Federal investigators say that between from May 2010 and October 2014, Stockman brought in about $1.25 million in donations based on false pretenses. He then diverted nearly $285,000 donated to charitable causes to pay for his and Dodd’s personal expenses.
Stockman and Dodd also are accused of receiving $165,000 in charitable donations, which Stockman largely spent to fund his 2012 congressional campaign.
When he took office in 2013, prosecutors say, Stockman and Dodd solicited a $350,000 charitable donation with Dodd’s help and spent it on personal and campaign expenses. He funneled the money through conduits back into his campaign.
In support of Stockman’s Senate campaign, Posey is accused of using a nonprofit entity to secure more than $450,000 donation to fund a mass-mailing to attack Stockman’s opponent.
About half of the donation was spent on the mail campaign, and Posey used a part of the unspent balance to pay for expenses related to Stockman’s unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign and to fund personal expenses, according to the charges.
Stockman served twice in the U.S. House, but lost a primary bid to unseat U.S. Sen. John Cornyn.
Houston News & Search