Ex-congressman from California arrested, charged with fraud

Aug 16, 2022, 3:08 PM | Updated: 4:40 pm

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A former U.S. Congressman from central California was arrested Tuesday by federal agents on wire fraud, money laundering, and campaign contribution fraud charges stemming from “multiple fraud schemes,” federal prosecutors said.

Terrance “T.J.” Cox was arrested by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigations in Fresno, where he was booked to the Fresno County jail on a U.S. Marshals hold, jail records showed. It was not immediately known if he has an attorney who can speak on his behalf. An email message sent to Cox Tuesday was not immediately answered.

Cox, a Democrat, represented the 21st Congressional District from January 2019 to January 2021. The district is in the agriculture-rich San Joaquin Valley and includes Kings County and portions of Fresno, Kern and Tulare counties.

Cox, 59, was charged with 15 counts of wire fraud, 11 counts of money laundering, one count of financial institution fraud, and one count of campaign contribution fraud, U.S. Attorney Phillip Talbert said in a statement.

Talbert said that between 2013 and 2018, Cox allegedly obtained $1.7 million from funds he solicited from clients and loans he got for his companies and then stole by diverting the money to “off-the-book bank accounts.”

Cox partially owned, managed and was employed by several companies and non-profit organizations, including a business that helped companies get loans and federal tax credits, an almond processing company and a non-profit that operated Granite Park, a recreation facility in Fresno, according to the complaint.

Cox also fraudulently obtained a $1.5 million construction loan to develop Granite Park, Talbert said.

After his nonprofit could not qualify for the construction loan for the recreation facility without a party guaranteeing the loan, Cox said that one of the companies he co-owned would guarantee the loan, and submitted a fabricated board resolution that falsely stated that during a meeting all company owners had agreed to guarantee the Granite Park loan.

“No meeting took place, and the other owners did not agree to back the loan,” Talbert said.

The loan later went into default, causing a loss of more than $1.28 million, he said.

According to the indictment, when Cox was campaigning in 2017 for the U.S. House of Representatives he reimbursed family members and associates for donations to his campaign, prosecutors said. Cox arranged for over $25,000 in illegal straw or conduit donations to his campaign, Talbert said.

If convicted, Cox faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for wire fraud and money laundering, and up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine for wire fraud affecting a financial institution. The charge of campaign contribution fraud carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine,

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Republican presidential candidates, from left, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, former New Jers...

Associated Press

3rd Republican presidential debate is set for Nov. 8 in Miami, with the strictest qualifications yet

The third Republican presidential debate will be held in Miami on Nov. 8, a day after several states hold off-year elections.

2 days ago

During the equinox, the Earth’s axis and its orbit line up so that both hemispheres get an equal ...

Associated Press

The fall equinox is here. What does that mean?

The equinox arrives on Saturday, marking the start of the fall season for the Northern Hemisphere. But what does that actually mean?

2 days ago

Ray Epps Ray Epps, an Arizona man who became the center of a conspiracy theory about Jan. 6, 2021, ...

Associated Press

Ray Epps, an Arizona man who supported Trump, pleads guilty to Capital riot charge

Ray Epps, the target of a conspiracy theory about the Jan. 6, 2021, attack, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to a misdemeanor charge.

4 days ago

Former President Donald Trump repeatedly declined in an interview aired Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, to ...

Associated Press

Trump refuses to say in a TV interview how he watched the Jan. 6 attack unfold at the US Capitol

Former President Donald Trump repeatedly declined in an interview aired Sunday to answer questions about whether he watched the Capitol riot.

7 days ago

This frame grab from video, provided by the Mexican government, shows Ovidio Guzman Lopez being det...

Associated Press

Mexico extradites son of ‘El Chapo,’ Ovidio Guzman Lopez to US

The son of notorious cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán, Ovidio Guzman Lopez was extradited to the U.S. on Friday.

8 days ago

impeachments in US history...

Associated Press

A look at notable impeachments in US history, including Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was acquitted Saturday on during his impeachment trial. Here's a roundup of impeachments in U.S. history.

8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Home moving relocation in Arizona 2023...

BMS Moving

Tips for making your move in Arizona easier

If you're moving to a new home in Arizona, use this to-do list to alleviate some stress and ensure a smoother transition to your new home.

Sanderson Ford...

Sanderson Ford

Sanderson Ford congratulates D-backs’ on drive to great first half of 2023

The Arizona Diamondbacks just completed a red-hot first half of the major league season, and Sanderson Ford wants to send its congratulations to the ballclub.



At Ability360, every day is Independence Day

With 100 different programs and services, more than 1,500 non-medically based home care staff, a world-renowned Sports & Fitness Center and over 15,000 people with disabilities served annually, across all ages and demographics, Ability360 is a nationwide leader in the disability community.

Ex-congressman from California arrested, charged with fraud