Some people can’t resist the temptation of power and money. Unfortunately, that’s especially true for politicians in the Democratic Party.
Former Rep. TJ Cox (D-CA) was indicted on 28 counts of campaign contribution and financial fraud, The Hill reported. Documents unsealed Tuesday reveal several schemes the 59-year-old ran during his single term and faces fines and decades in prison.
Cox, a one-term congressman, managed to rack up quite a few charges from his short stint in government. The Justice Department said he ran “unauthorized off-the-books bank accounts” and “diverted client and company money into those accounts through false representations, pretenses, and promises.”
The California Democrat raked in $1.7 million in ill-gotten gains through alleged crimes that include “15 counts of wire fraud, 11 counts of money laundering, one count of financial institution fraud, and one count of campaign contribution fraud,” according to the Justice Department.
Cox also allegedly borrowed against his company and defaulted on the loan, resulting in a $1.28 million loss. What’s more, Cox did not have the consent of his co-owners but misled the financial institution that he did.
Rather than take responsibility, Cox blamed “politics” for his troubles. “I tell you what, politics is a tough game,” he said in a tweeted video.
“I wouldn’t be in this position today but for the politics, and I think we all know that,” he added. However, Cox’s fall from grace happened almost as soon as he got into the game.
In his 2018 congressional bid, Cox allegedly weaseled his way to $25,000 in straw donations. He also made sure friends and family members recouped their donation amounts.
The Democrat narrowly edged out incumbent Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) during the so-called “blue wave” that midterm year. However, Valadao retook his seat in another close race in 2020.
Democrats enriching themselves off of shady dealings during their political careers are nothing new. However, it is startling how quickly Cox allegedly slid into the criminal side of the politics game — and now he’s facing more than a million dollars in fines and 50 years in prison.