Ex-Texas congressman convicted of fraud, conspiracy

Former U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman. (MGN/file)
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HOUSTON (AP) A federal jury convicted a former Texas congressman Thursday of fraud and conspiracy for misusing charitable donations to pay for personal and political expenses.

Republican Steve Stockman was found guilty Thursday following a three-week trial in Houston.

A federal judge ordered Stockman to be taken into custody following the conviction.

U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal says the 61-year-old Republican was a flight risk.

Federal prosecutors said Stockman conspired with two staffers to bilk conservative foundations out of at least $775,000 that was meant for charitable purposes and voter education.

A campaign worker and an aide both previously pleaded guilty to various charges.

A jury on Thursday found Stockman guilty on 23 of the 24 counts he faced.

Those include counts of mail and wire fraud, conspiracy, making false statements to the Federal Elections Commission and money laundering.

He was found not guilty on one count of wire fraud.

Each fraud count carries a possible sentence of as much as 20 years in prison.

The judge has scheduled a sentencing hearing for Aug. 17.

Stockman's attorney has said Stockman committed no crime.

Following his arrest in March 2017, Stockman said a "deep state" shadow government was targeting him.

Stockman served in the U.S. House from 1995 until 1997, and again from 2013 to 2015, in a district covering an area east of Houston.