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TJ Cox Congressional portrait (Photo: U.S. Congress)

Former Rep. T.J. Cox Arrested By FBI on 28 Counts for Election Fraud

Cox was arrested on 15 counts of wire fraud, 11 counts of money laundering, financial institution fraud, and campaign contribution fraud

By Evan Symon, August 16, 2022 4:09 pm

Former Congressman T.J. Cox, a Democrat from California’s 21st congressional district, was arrested by the FBI on Tuesday on 28 counts over multiple fraud, election fraud and many other charges.

According to a pubic affairs release from the Department of Justice, Cox, who was a Congressman from the Central California district from 2019 to 2021, is alleged to have perpetrated multiple fraud schemes targeting companies he was affiliated with and their clients and vendors. In total, he was arrested on 15 counts of wire fraud, 11 counts of money laundering, one count of financial institution fraud, and one count of campaign contribution fraud. Many of the allegations involve property sales and the Granite Park recreation area in Fresno, and were all largely done during his time as a businessman and  community development enterprise before his Congressional election. However, some of the allegations also include illegal campaign donations to his 2018 run for Congress.

“Cox created unauthorized off-the-books bank accounts and diverted client and company money into those accounts through false representations, pretenses and promises,” the Department of Justice said on Tuesday. “From 2013 to 2018, across two different fraud schemes, Cox illicitly obtained over $1.7 million in diverted client payments and company loans and investments he solicited and then stole.”

“In addition, Cox allegedly received mortgage loan funds from a lender for a property purchase by submitting multiple false representations to the lender, including fabricated bank statements and false statements that Cox intended to live in the property as his primary residence. However, the indictment alleges Cox intended to and did buy the property to rent it to someone else.

“According to allegations in the indictment, Cox also fraudulently obtained a $1.5 million construction loan to develop the recreation area in Fresno known as Granite Park. Cox and his business partner’s nonprofit could not qualify for the construction loan without a financially viable party guaranteeing the loan. Cox falsely represented that one of his affiliated companies would guarantee the loan, and submitted a fabricated board resolution which falsely stated that at a meeting on a given date all company owners agreed to guarantee the Granite Park loan. No meeting took place, and the other owners did not agree to back the loan. The loan later went into default causing a loss of more than $1.28 million.

“According to allegations in the indictment, when Cox was a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2018 election, he perpetrated a scheme to fund and reimburse family members and associates for donations to his campaign. Cox arranged for over $25,000 in illegal straw or conduit donations to his campaign in 2017.”

Cox faces over 50 years in prison

If convicted on all charges, Cox may spend the rest of his life in prison. Right now, should he be found guilty, Cox faces up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines for the wire fraud and money laundering charges. This is in addition to the 30 years in prison and $1 million in fines he may possibly get for the for wire fraud affecting a financial institution and financial institution fraud charges, as well as 5 years and $250,000 in fines for the campaign contribution fraud.

Neither Cox, or
Rep. David Valadao (R-CA), the current Congressman of the district, and local law enforcement,  had not released statements as of Tuesday afternoon. In a short statement, Assemblyman Rudy Salas (D-Freesno), the Democrat who is running for his former seat this year, simply said that “T.J. Cox has disgraced himself.”

For many political experts in the area, the arrest of Cox at the Fresno County Courthouse on Tuesday was surprising but also not totally out of the blue.

“Cox had money troubles before, like when he owed the IRS over $100 grand a few years back, and had a political Twitter scandal in 2020, but nothing like this,” explained Anne Hart, a Fresno County pollster, to the Globe on Tuesday. “These are allegations now, but it really looks like Cox was making deals left and right by any means necessary. And that means breaking the law dozens of times.”

“We’ve seen this sort of thing again and again. Cox wanted to win an election so bad and wanted to get things done so bad he went down the bad path. And in the end it was just over money. He wrecked his life over greed. You can try and spin this anyway you want, but really, it looks like pure greed. And the kicker? He became a Congressman right after all this took place.”

“And now not only is he facing going into financial ruin and spending the rest of his life behind bars, the pushback on this might make it it nearly impossible for Salas to win now. That’s why Salas was one of the few to respond so quickly. He doesn’t want to be hit by collateral damage here. But it looks like Valadao, Cox’s political rival who was facing an uphill battle against Salas this year despite being the incumbent, was given a huge political gift and now has a really good chance of winning. All because of Cox doing the wrong thing.”

Statements from Valadao, Cox, and others are expected in the coming days.

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Evan Symon
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9 thoughts on “Former Rep. T.J. Cox Arrested By FBI on 28 Counts for Election Fraud

  1. TJ Cox was a carpetbagger. Rudy Salas isn’t much better, considering that he’s never held a real job.

  2. A Democrat being arrested by the FBI ? Aw come on man! How could this have happened? They are so squeaky clean! Had to have been a set up!

  3. Remember when he was elected, all we heard was how great it was to get an Asian/Filipino elected, diversity hires just continue to impress (Karine Jean-Pierre) … no?

    1. Politicians like these and their role model, Pocahontas Warren, give minorities a bad name. Asian? He could have fooled me. What percentage?

  4. I thought the federal gestapo was suppose to protect democrap libtards! Must of shorted the boss on the last protection kickback! Naughty, naughty.

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