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The Latest: Stockman defense team saddened by convictions

April 13, 2018

HOUSTON (AP) — The Latest on the conviction of former Texas Rep. Steve Stockman on fraud and conspiracy charges (all times local):

10 p.m.

An attorney for former U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman says he’s “very disappointed and sad” that a federal jury in Houston convicted Stockman of multiple fraud and conspiracy counts.

Jurors agreed with federal prosecutors that the Republican misused charitable donations to pay for personal and political expenses.

Sean Buckley says he and Stockman’s two other defense attorneys had hoped jurors would find that the funds were used for political purposes with the donors’ knowledge and at least tacit approval. Buckley says the defense theory is that Stockman’s charity “mega-donors” were donating to support Stockman’s political activities, as well as his charitable projects.

Stockman remains in custody pending sentencing Aug. 17. Each of the multiple fraud counts carries a punishment of up to 20 years in prison.

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5:10 p.m.

Houston-based U.S. Attorney Ryan Patrick says corrupt officials like former U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman “make it harder for the honest ones to do their jobs.”

The 61-year-old Republican was convicted Thursday by a federal jury in Houston of multiple counts of fraud and conspiracy. Prosecutors say he misused charitable donations to pay for personal and political expenses.

Stockman represented two different districts in Southeast Texas during his time in the U.S. House.

Patrick says public officials who use their office to defraud donors and violate federal law will be held accountable.

Assistant Attorney General John Cronan is with the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. He says Stockman “abused his position as a congressman” and then used the proceeds of his crimes “to corrupt the election process and make a range of impermissible personal expenditures.”

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1:50 p.m.

A federal judge has ordered former Texas Rep. Steve Stockman to be taken into custody following the ex-congressman’s conviction on fraud and conspiracy charges.

U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal says the 61-year-old Republican was a flight risk.

Federal prosecutors said Stockman conspired with two staffers to bilk conservative foundations out of at least $775,000 that was meant for charitable purposes and voter education.

A jury on Thursday found Stockman guilty on 23 of the 24 counts he faced. Those include counts of mail and wire fraud, conspiracy, making false statements to the Federal Elections Commission and money laundering. He was found not guilty on one count of wire fraud.

Each fraud count carries up to 20 years in prison. The judge has scheduled a sentencing hearing for Aug. 17.

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12:50 p.m.

A federal jury has convicted a former Texas congressman of fraud and conspiracy for misusing charitable donations to pay for personal and political expenses.

Republican Steve Stockman was found guilty Thursday following a three-week trial in Houston.

Federal prosecutors said Stockman conspired with two staffers to bilk conservative foundations out of at least $775,000 that was meant for charitable purposes and voter education.

A campaign worker and an aide both previously pleaded guilty to various charges.

Stockman’s attorney has said Stockman committed no crime. Following his arrest in March 2017, Stockman said a “deep state” shadow government was targeting him.

Stockman served in the U.S. House from 1995 until 1997, and again from 2013 to 2015, in a district covering an area east of Houston.

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