Former Rep. TJ Cox (D-CA) is facing 28 felony counts.
The Department of Justice made the announcement in a statement on Tuesday.
“A 28-count indictment was unsealed today in the Eastern District of California charging a former member of Congress with multiple fraud schemes and campaign contribution fraud,” the department explained.
According to the statement, Cox has been charged with 15 counts of wire fraud, 11 counts of money laundering, one count of financial institution fraud, and one count of campaign contribution fraud.
Cox allegedly carried out fraud schemes directed at companies he was affiliated with as well as their clients and vendors, as the Department of Justice reported.
The statement continues, “Cox created unauthorized off-the-books bank accounts and diverted client and company money into those accounts through false representations, pretenses and promises.”
Prosecutors claim that Cox, from 2013 to 2018, illegally obtained more than $1.7 million.
Additionally, the Department said Cox defrauded a lender through “fabricated bank statements and false statements.”
Cox reportedly obtained a $1.5 million construction loan illegally to develop a recreation area in Fresno.
“Cox and his business partner’s nonprofit could not qualify for the construction loan without a financially viable party guaranteeing the loan. Cox falsely represented that one of his affiliated companies would guarantee the loan, and submitted a fabricated board resolution which falsely stated that at a meeting on a given date all company owners agreed to guarantee the Granite Park loan,” the department said.
There was no meeting, according to the department.
Other owners refused to back the loan leading to a $1.28 million loss.
Breaking: Former San Joaquin Valley Congressman TJ Cox was arrested today. He was charged with 15 counts of wire fraud, 11 counts of money laundering, one count of financial institution fraud and one count of campaign contribution fraud, per DOJ. https://t.co/JD7ssEs0QA
— Gillian R. Brassil (@Gillian_Brassil) August 16, 2022
When Cox was a candidate for the House in 2018, he allegedly schemed to fund and reimburse members of his family and associates after they donated to his campaign, per the department.
“Cox arranged for over $25,000 in illegal straw or conduit donations to his campaign in 2017,” the statement explains.
The DOJ noted Cox could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for wire fraud and money laundering.
He could also face up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine for wire fraud affecting a financial institution and financial institution fraud as well as up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for campaign contribution fraud.
“Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables,” the DOJ said.
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