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Ex-Congressman Sentenced to 10 Years for Stealing Charitable Donations

A former United States consultant from Texas was once sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in jail and ordered to pay about $1 million in restitution after being convicted of stealing masses of hundreds of greenbacks intended for charity and the use of it to pay for private bills and his political campaigns.

In April, a federal jury discovered the previous congressman, Steve Stockman, 61, responsible on 23 counts — together with cash laundering, conspiracy and making false statements — after prosecutors alleged that he had orchestrated a yearslong scheme to defraud charitable donors.

Two of Mr. Stockman’s former aides additionally pleaded responsible closing 12 months to more than one counts hooked up to the case.

“At trial, the government proved to the jury that former Congressman Stockman ran his campaign and fraudulent charities to simply enrich himself and defrauded well-meaning donors,” Ryan Ok. Patrick, United States legal professional for the Southern District of Texas, stated in a remark on Wednesday. “This type of corruption by public officials gives our entire democratic system a black eye.”

Marlo P. Cadeddu, a legal professional for Mr. Stockman, stated in an interview on Wednesday that the federal government had requested for a 210-month sentence, “so this is better than it could have been” and “we’re gratified by that.”

She added that within the coming weeks, her group plans to attraction Mr. Stockman’s conviction to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Mr. Stockman, a Republican, served one time period within the mid-1990s and any other from 2013 to 2015. He additionally ran unsuccessfully for United States Senate in 2014. Throughout his latter days in politics, Mr. Stockman stood out for being intensely anti-Obama. In 2014, Mr. Stockman walked out of Mr. Obama’s State of the Union deal with in protest. He additionally offered Obama “barf bags” as a marketing campaign fund-raiser.

At trial, prosecutors alleged that from May 2010 to February 2014, Mr. Stockman and his aides solicited about $1.25 million in charitable donations “based on false pretenses, then used a series of sham nonprofit organizations and dozens of bank accounts to launder the money,” a Justice Department remark stated.

Specifically, prosecutors alleged that during 2010, Mr. Stockman and one in all his aides solicited an aged donor for $285,000, which the pair stated could be used for respectable charitable and academic functions. Instead, they used a sham charity to funnel the cash such that it may well be used for plenty of private bills.

In the years that adopted, prosecutors stated Mr. Stockman and the aide won an extra $165,000 in charitable donations from the donor, a lot of which Mr. Stockman used illegally to finance his 2012 congressional marketing campaign.

Such conduct persisted after Mr. Stockman took place of work in 2013, in accordance the Justice Department. He and the aide used the title of any other sham nonprofit entity — “Life Without Limits” — to solicit a $350,000 charitable donation, which he stated could be used to create an academic heart known as the Freedom House. Instead the cash went to plenty of private and marketing campaign bills, prosecutors stated.

Prosecutors additionally confirmed at trial that Mr. Stockman didn’t pay taxes at the fraudulently received donations. At one level, Mr. Stockman even directed one in all his aides to flee to Cairo in order that the aide may just now not be puzzled by means of regulation enforcement businesses, the Justice Department stated.

Recounting Wednesday’s sentencing from throughout the court, Courthouse News Service reported that Judge Lee Rosenthal of United States District Court admonished Mr. Stockman, announcing he had proven a willingness to exploit others and damage their lives. And after handing down Mr. Stockman’s 120-month sentence, she reportedly quipped: “That’s a long time, but Mr. Stockman, I think you earned it.”

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