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Ex-leader of Houston nonprofit pleads guilty over 2013 trip

December 11, 2018

HOUSTON (AP) — The ex-operator of a Houston nonprofit has pleaded guilty to concealing that Azerbaijan (ah-zur-by-JAHN’) paid for a 2013 visit by 10 U.S. lawmakers.

Kemal Oksuz was extradited from Armenia and pleaded guilty Monday in Washington, D.C., to devising to falsify, conceal and cover up material facts. He faces up to a year in prison in the plea deal.

Oksuz led the Turquoise Council of Americans and Eurasians. An indictment was unsealed in September.

The House Ethics Committee in 2015 found no evidence of wrongdoing by members of Congress. Texans Ruben Hinojosa, Sheila Jackson Lee, Steve Stockman and Ted Poe traveled to Azerbaijan, along with Gregory Meeks and Yvette Clarke of New York, Danny Davis of Illinois, Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma and Leonard Lance of New Jersey.

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