Former Texas Republican congressman, Steve Stockman, was found guilty at a federal court in Houston Thursday on 23 of the 24 felony counts he was charged with last year.
Stockman was charged with fraud last March after it was discovered he had swindled two conservative high-dollar donors of $1.5 million and funneled the cash into his personal accounts.
Stockman was accused of improperly using charitable donations for unrelated efforts, including campaign and personal expenses ranging from a new dishwasher to undercover surveillance of a perceived political rival.
The Houston-area former lawmaker’s attorneys have claimed that the pair of conservative mega-donors who gave him that money intended for it to serve as campaign contributions and gave the former lawmaker broad leeway for using it. Prosecutors argued that Stockman promised that money would go to specific purposes — including “educating” voters and renovating a conservative “Freedom House” for interns — and that the former lawmaker used his credibility to mislead donors.
Stockman’s charges ranged from money laundering and mail and wire fraud to federal election law violations.
Stockman served two non-consecutive terms in the U.S. Congress until he failed in a bid to unseat Sen. John Cornyn in 2014.
Stockman’s lawyers plan to appeal the conviction. If the felony convictions are upheld, Stockman would be barred from running for Texas office, but would still be eligible to run for federal office.