HOUSTON – A former staff member for a former Congressman is likely headed to federal prison. On Wednesday, October 11, 2017 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. He’ll be sentenced March 29, 2018.
Posey pleaded guilty for his role in orchestrating a scheme to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from charitable foundations and the individuals who ran those foundations. Prosecutors say the money was used to pay personal expenses and to illegally finance a former congressman Steve Stockman’s campaigns for public office.
The plea deal was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez and Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
According to admissions made in connection with Posey’s plea, Posey served as director of special projects for Stockman, 60, of the Houston 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, also of the Houston 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 the donor’s $350,000 donation had been used to support a charitable endeavor when the funds were actually used for other purposes to include Stockman’s campaigns for public office.
In connection with his plea, Posey also admitted 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 headed. In fact, according to Posey, 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 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 FBI and IRS are investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Annis is prosecuting the case along with Trial Attorneys Ryan J. Ellersick and Robert J. Heberle of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.