Former Capitol Hill staffer, Thomas Dodd, was sentenced Wednesday for participating in an extensive scheme that involved defrauding charitable donors by laundering funds to pay personal and campaign expenses.
Dodd, 40, was an aide to former Rep. Steve Stockman. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison, ordered to pay $800,000 in restitution and ordered to forfeit $153,044.28 in illicit gains.
Stockman, a former Texas Republican Congressman, was sentenced in November to 120 months in prison after a federal jury convicted him of 23 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and making false statements to the Federal Election Commission. A federal jury in April found Stockman, 60, guilty of soliciting $1.25 million in donations based on false pretenses, specifically using some of the funds meant for charities to pay for his personal expenses and to further his political ambitions.
Dodd pleaded guilty in March 2017 to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to make conduit contributions and false statements. As part of his plea, he also admitted that he was involved in Stockman’s plot.
Evidence presented in the trial against Stockman showed that between May 2010 and February 2014, Stockman, Dodd, and others solicited more than a $1 million in donations from charitable organizations and their leaders based on false information. Stockman and Dodd then laundered the money through fake nonprofits and dozens of bank accounts before using the funds to pay for personal and campaign expenses. The money was used for secret surveillance of a political opponent, robocalls and mailing for Stockman’s 2014 Senate campaign and in-patient alcoholism treatment for a female associate, according to the Justice Department.
Dodd isn’t the only former Stockman staffer caught up in the fray. Jason T. Posey, 48, of Tupelo, Mississippi, pleaded guilty in 2017 to charges including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and money laundering. As the federal investigation began, Stockman urged Posey to skip town. The former lawmaker directed Posey to flea to Cairo, Egypt for two and a half years for Posey to avoid law enforcement questioning. Stockman was a founding member of the House’s Caucus on Egypt when it was created in 2014.