Wednesday, October 11, 2017
A former congressional staffer pleaded guilty today for his role in orchestrating a scheme to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from charitable foundations and the individuals who ran those foundations to pay for personal expenses and to illegally finance a former congressman’s campaigns for public office, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez of the Southern District of Texas.
Jason T. Posey, 46, formerly of Houston, and currently residing in Mississippi, pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud, one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering before Chief U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal of the Southern District of Texas. Sentencing is set for March 29, 2018.
According to admissions made in connection with Posey’s plea, Posey served as director of special projects and treasurer of the congressional campaign committee for former U.S. Congressman Stephen E. Stockman, 60, of the Houston, Texas area, from in or around January 2013 until in or around November 2013. Posey admitted that, at Stockman’s direction, he and another congressional staffer, Thomas Dodd, 38, of the Houston, Texas area, illegally funneled $15,000 of charitable proceeds into Stockman’s campaign bank account and caused the campaign to file reports with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that falsely stated that the money was a contribution from their parents and from the staffers themselves. According to Posey’s admissions, Stockman also directed Posey to send a letter to a charitable donor that falsely stated that the donor’s $350,000 donation had been used to support a charitable endeavor, when in fact the funds were actually used for other purposes, including Stockman’s campaigns for public office.
In connection with his plea, Posey also admitted that he and Stockman raised $450,571.65 to support Stockman’s 2014 Senate campaign by falsely representing to a donor that the funds would be used to support a legitimate independent expenditure by an independent advocacy group Posey created. In fact, Posey admitted that Stockman personally directed and supervised the activities of the purportedly independent group, including the printing and mailing of hundreds of thousands of copies of a pro-Stockman publication to Texas voters. Posey also admitted that he submitted a false affidavit to the FEC in order to conceal the scheme.
Dodd pleaded guilty on March 20 to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to make illegal conduit contributions and false statements to the FEC. Stockman’s trial is scheduled to begin on Jan. 29, 2018. The charges and allegations in this case are merely accusations. Stockman is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The FBI and IRS-CI are investigating the case. Trial Attorneys Ryan J. Ellersick and Robert J. Heberle of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Annis of the Southern District of Texas are prosecuting the case.