Former California Democratic Congressman T.J. Cox is facing numerous charges of fraud and money laundering, which led to his arrest in Fresno, California, on Tuesday morning.
According to the Department of Justice, he “is 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.”
They explain that he allegedly “perpetrated multiple fraud schemes,” including creating hidden bank accounts, which led to him “illicitly obtain[ing]” $1.7 million from clients, business loans, and investments.
Notably, he allegedly organized a scheme to funnel $25,000 to his campaign illegally as “straw or conduit donations” in his 2018 congressional campaign, the statement said. This meant that he allegedly had a plan “to fund and reimburse family members and associates for donations.”
The Democrat could face up to a maximum of 20 years behind bars and a $250,000 fine for money laundering and wire fraud if convicted, according to the Department of Justice statement. For “wire fraud affecting a financial institution and financial institution fraud”, he could face a maximum of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
For the campaign contribution fraud, he would face a maximum of five years behind bars and a $250,000 fine.
Cox only served one term in Congress. Republican Rep. David Valadao currently holds the seat and he held the seat before the Democrat as well.