WASHINGTON - A former U.S. congressman has been charged in multiple alleged fraud schemes and campaign contribution fraud in a 28-count indictment unsealed Tuesday, the Department of Justice announced.
Former Rep. T.J. Cox, D-Calif., allegedly targeted companies he was affiliated with and their clients and vendors, illicitly obtaining more than $1.7 million between 2013 to 2018 in diverted client payments, company loans and investments he sought then stole, the Justice Department said in a news release.
The former California congressman is also accused of perpetrating a scheme to fund and reimburse family members and associates for campaign donations in 2018, ultimately arranging for more than $25,000 in illegal straw or conduit donations to his campaign in 2017, according to the Justice Department release. Other alleged schemes include obtaining mortgage and construction loans with false or misrepresented information.
Cox faces federal charges including 15 counts of wire fraud, 11 counts of money laundering, one count of financial institution fraud and one count of campaign contribution fraud, the Justice Department said.
If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison plus a $250,000 for wire fraud and money laundering, up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine for wire fraud affecting a financial institution and up to five years in prison plus a $250,000 fine for campaign contribution fraud.
Cox was elected to the U.S. House in 2018 but lost his seat in 2020.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: T.J. Cox, former California lawmaker, faces federal fraud charges