AUSTIN – A federal jury in Houston found former U.S. Republican Congressman Steve Stockman guilty of fraud on Thursday, including siphoning off more than $1 million in campaign funds for his own use, court records showed.
Stockman, 61, who served two terms representing a Houston-area district from 1995 to 1997 and again from 2013 to 2015, was found guilty on all but one of 24 felony charges including eight fraud counts and making false statements, money laundering and violating U.S. election laws.
“Obviously we are disappointed with the verdict and are working now for preparing for the sentencing proceedings,” said Sean Buckley, an attorney for Stockman. He said an appeal was planned.
The U.S. Attorney’s office for Houston was not immediately available for comment.
Stockman could face up to 20 years in prison for each fraud count when he is sentenced in August, local media reported.
According to a criminal complaint, Stockman and two of his congressional employees diverted money from a charity in Nevada called “Life Without Limits” for his personal and political use, including one payment of $350,000 in 2013.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas has previously said that from May 2010 to October 2014 Stockman solicited approximately $1.25 million in donations based on false pretenses.
When he was in Congress, staunch conservative Stockman gained notoriety for threatening to seek the impeachment of the then president Barack Obama if he tried to implement gun control regulations through executive action.
In 2014, Stockman was trounced in a Republican primary challenge to incumbent U.S. Senator John Cornyn for his seat in the Senate.