Ex-congressional aide faces sentencing in lucrative Steve Stockman scheme

December 12, 2018 GMT

A congressional aide who helped Republican former U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman illegally pilfer campaign funds is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday in Houston federal court for his role in the $1.25 million scheme.

Stockman, an ultra-conservative firebrand elected to Congress for a two-year term in the mid-90s and to represent an East Texas district from 2013-2015, is now serving a 10-year prison term. In April, 62-year-old Clear Lake Republican was convicted, following a four-week jury trial, on 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

The ex-lawmaker’s former aide, Thomas Dodd, was a key prosecution witness at Stockman’s jury trial last spring, where federal prosecutors meticulously outlined a fraud the lawmaker perpetrated against two conservative megadonors, and illustrated how Stockman blew the funds on everything from dophin tours to a hot air balloon ride.

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Dodd, , of Houston, testified that he helped his boss solicit lucrative donations from foundations run by the Uihlein and Rothschild families and also helped cover deficits in Stockman’s campaign coffers. The scheme involved shell companies, bogus campaign contributions, lies to executives at the foundations and a trail of wire and mail fraud.

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Dodd pleaded guilty Mar. 20, 2017, to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to make conduit contributions and false statements. Stockman’s former campaign worker and 2013 congressional special assistant admitted he conspired with his ex-boss to conceal the $15,000 in illegal campaign contributions that he and another aide made in 2013.

Dodd faces a likely prison term at his sentencing Wednesday before Chief U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal.

Another Stockman aide, Jason T. Posey, , of Tupelo, Mississippi, pleaded guilty in October 2017 to one count of mail fraud, one count of wire fraud,and one count of money laundering. He also provided key testimony at Stockman’s jury trial.

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