Ex-Stockman aide sentenced to 18 months in campaign fund scam

April 4, 2019 GMT

The Mississippi man had been hiding out in a bare-bones apartment in Egypt for nearly three years when FBI agents tracked him down in connection with an elaborate campaign fraud scheme allegedly orchestrated by a former U.S. congressman.

Jason Posey, who had served as an aide to U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, ultimately flipped on his old boss, pleaded guilty and testified at Stockman’s federal court jury trial in Houston about the multiyear $1.25 million scam that pilfered campaign funds from super-wealthy Republican donors. Stockman, 62, of Clear Lake, a right-wing firebrand who served two nonconsecutive terms in Congress, is now serving a 10-year term in a federal lockup after being convicted of 23 criminal counts, including mail and wire fraud, violating federal election law, making excessive campaign contributions and lying on a federal tax return.

CONVICTION: Former U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman convicted in massive fraud scheme


Chief U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal sentenced the former aide Tuesday to 18 months in federal prison for wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering charges. Posey, 48, of Tupelo, Miss., will serve an additional three years of supervised release. He remains free on bond and was ordered to surrender to prison officials.

Prior to sentencing, Posey told the judge that he took responsibility for his choices.

“I will carry that shame, embarrassment and humiliation with me for the rest of my life,” the defendant said.

Prosecutor Robert Heberle asked the judge to consider that Posey provided valuable cooperation to the government about Stockman, but noted that he also obstructed justice and played a key role in a sophisticated scheme that cheated voters.

Posey’s lawyer, Philip Hilder, said Stockman took advantage of Posey’s abiding loyalty to a man he idolized and considered a father figure.

“He followed him to Egypt—why would anybody do that?” Hilder asked. Hilder also reminded the judge of something Posey said on the witness stand, recalling a day the new congressional aides were going around introducing themselves and their jobs in the office. Posey said, “I’m Jason Posey and I just do what I’m told.”

The judge commended Posey for helping prosecutors try and convict his former mentor, adding that it’s also important that he be held accountable for his actions.

“This was corruption, it was greed. Nothing fancy,” Rosenthal said. “The kind of political corruption that Mr. Stockman got Mr. Posey involved in and that Mr. Posey facilitated over an extended time in repeated ways does present a risk of corrosion in some of our basic institutions, and that matters.”


In addition to his prison term, the judge also ordered Posey, who now works as a short-order cook, to repay $350,000 to the conservative Ed Uilein Family Foundation and another $214,718 to the company’s CEO, Richard Uihlein. Another Stockman aide, Thomas Dodd, 40, of Houston, received an identical prison sentence for aiding in the scheme last year and is jointly liable to repay some of the same stolen funds.

Stockman represented a swath of East Texas in Congress before mounting an unsuccessful bid to unseat U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, in 2013.

FRAUD ODDITIES: 34 surprising facts revealed during ex-Congressman Steve Stockman’s fraud trial

Dodd and Posey offered crucial testimony in Stockman’s jury trial last year, outlining for prosecutors how they helped cover deficits in the candidate’s campaign coffers by making bogus campaign contributions in their parents’ names. Stockman and his aides lied to executives at conservative foundations and funneled the donations through shell nonprofits and dozens of bank accounts, then the conservative lawmaker spent it on a variety of personal and campaign expenses.

Stockman blew the funds on a hot-air balloon ride, a shopping trip and tuition for a Christian summer camp, among other expenses.

Stockman left a well-documented trail of wire and mail fraud that prosecutors pored over with witnesses at trial.

Posey told the jury that in the aftermath of their risky donation scheme he agreed to spend years in Cairo because Stockman suspected that he and his staff were being investigated by law enforcement.

“He knew he was being sent there to get him out of the investigator’s access,” said Heberle, the prosecutor.

Posey had left rural Mississippi for Washington, D.C., in the 1990s “to get an education in conservative ideals,” his lawyer said. He met Stockman during his first term in office, and the lawmaker became a role model to the young man, Hilder said.

Stockman hired Posey during his second campaign for Congress.

Gabrielle Banks covers federal court for the Houston Chronicle. Follow her on Twitter and send her tips at gabrielle.banks@chron.com.