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Texas Attorney General Paxton Booked on Fraud Charges

Texas Attorney General Paxton Booked on Fraud Charges

Monday, 03 August 2015 05:08 PM

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Tea Party Republican, turned himself in on Monday and was booked on three felony charges involving suspected securities fraud.

Paxton, the state's top law man, appeared for processing and posed for a mug shot in Collin County, near Dallas. He posted bond of $35,000 and was released, according to the Collin County Sheriff's office.

Neither Paxton nor the special prosecutors appointed to the case have commented on the indictment. Paxton took his post as attorney general earlier this year, pledging a fight against abortion, same-sex marriage and the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

A grand jury in July heard evidence presented by the prosecutors, including one who represented former Republican congressman Tom DeLay, and the Texas Rangers, the famed statewide police agency. It returned an indictment that includes first-degree felony charges, which can bring up to 99 years in prison.

The Texas Republican Party attacked the investigation.

"Some of the outrageous events surrounding this sloppy process certainly do not typify the level of quality that Texans expect from our judicial system," it said in a statement.

Paxton drew national attention when he said county clerks in Texas who object to gay marriage on religious grounds can refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples despite the U.S. Supreme Court ruling requiring states to allow same-sex marriage.

When in the state legislature, Paxton was hired to seek clients by investment firm Mowery Capital Management, which is facing allegations from the State Securities Board of defrauding investors.

The board found in May 2014 that Paxton was not properly registered as an investment adviser. It reprimanded him and fined him $1,000.

Paxton's name also appears in a federal court document as a major investor in a Dallas-area firm in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation.

Court documents in the federal investigation of the technology firm called Servergy do not make any allegations of misconduct by Paxton or draw links to the investigation into securities fraud in Texas.

Few of the state's prominent Republican politicians have publicly shown support for Paxton following reports of the indictment.

"Ken Paxton isn't fighting for his political life, he's fighting to avoid spending life behind bars. He won't have time to do anything else," said Matt Angle of the Lone Star Project, a Democratic political action committee. (Additional reporting by Marice Richter in Dallas; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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Texas Attorney General Paxton Booked on Fraud Charges
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Monday, 03 August 2015 05:08 PM
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