TJ Cox was indicted on federal money laundering and wire fraud charges

He is 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, according to court documents.

If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison on the wire fraud and money laundering charges, and up to 30 years on the financial institution fraud and wire fraud charges.

Cox has yet to enter a formal plea, and an attorney representing him has not yet been listed in the court document.

Cox, 59, represented California’s 21st congressional district and served just one term in Congress — from January 2019 to January 2021. He was first elected to the seat in 2018, defeating a Republican David Valdau. Cox came to Congress as part of a blue wave in congressional races across the country that led to Democrats retaking the House from Republicans. In 2020, however, Valadao He defeated Cox and won the seat again.

Over the course of nearly a decade, Cox created several off-the-books bank accounts and lied to get more loans, according to the indictment.

In two instances, Cox allegedly created off-the-book bank accounts and took funds from companies he was affiliated with. In those projects, Cox received more than $1.7 million. Another Cox allegedly lied on an application for a $1.5 million construction loan to build an area in Fresno.

And in a fourth scheme, Cox allegedly obtained mortgage loan financing to purchase properties by submitting falsified bank statements to the lender and falsely stating that he intended to make the property his primary residence.

According to the indictment, Cox set up a scheme to fund and repay donations from friends and family members to her 2018 congressional campaign. The donations, prosecutors say, total more than $25,000.

Cox founded several companies that processed nuts, a major export from the Central Valley. He founded the Central Valley New Market Tax Credit Fund, which raises money for projects in low-income areas.

This story has been updated with additional updates.

CNN’s Claire Foran and Maeve Reston contributed to this report.

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