AP NEWS

Closing arguments expected in lengthy fraud trial of ex-GOP U.S. Congressman Steve Stockman

April 9, 2018

A jury is expected to hear closing arguments and begin deliberating Monday in the federal fraud trail of former U.S. Congressman Steve Stockman on allegations he and two aides mounted what prosecutors have called a “white collar crime spree” over a four year period.

Stockman, 61, faces 25 criminal counts, including charges he committed wire and mail fraud, lied on a tax return, violated federal election law and laundered the proceeds of illegally obtained funds. He maintains he is innocent. His lawyers have argued that his record keeping may have been messy, but he did not intentionally misuse the funds.

READ MORE: Ex-GOP lawmaker Steve Stockman ends defense with two witnesses in his federal fraud trial

The two aides presented key testimony at trial and have pleaded guilty to related charges. Both told the jury they are hoping the judge will grant them leniency at sentencing in exchange for their cooperation.

During three weeks of testimony, the government presented its case that the Clear Lake Republican diverted hundreds of thousands of dollars in charitable donations from powerful conservative donors to pay off a vast array of personal and campaign debts.

gabrielle.banks@chron.com

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