Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been indicted on three charges in Collin County, according to KXAS-TV NBC 5, The Dallas Morning News’ media partner.
The grand jury’s indictments were issued on Tuesday, then immediately sealed. Paxton was indicted on two counts of first-degree securities fraud and one-count of third-degree failure to register. Sources tell KXAS’s Scott Gordon they will be unsealed Monday.
According to WFAA-TV, a Tarrant County judge has been appointed to the case.
Paxton paid a $1,000 fine and thought he was done with it, but a criminal grand jury took the case. His admission could result in felony charges, a forfeiture of his office and time in prison, but Paxton does not have to resign.
“As we’ve said for 14 months now, there was no criminal action because there was no crime,” Paxton’s spokesman Anthony Holm said on July 24. “This was solely a civil event with a $1,000 civil penalty.”
As Paxton’s political career flourished, so did his business career. Since he joined the House in 2003, Paxton has a portolio of almost 30 business interests. He previously had pledged to sweep his business interests into a blind trust but it’s unclear whether that process is complete.
The state board fined and reprimanded Paxton for improperly soliciting business in 2004, 2005 and 2012, when he was in the Legislature.
Paxton and the head of the McKinney-based Mowery Capital Management, Frederick “Fritz” Mowery, worked in the same building.
Records obtained by The Dallas Morning News show Paxton earned thousands of dollars by referring at least six of his private law clients to Mowery, who is now accused of “unethical and fraudulent conduct” by the state.
Paxton maintains that it was an innocent lapse.
In 2011, he encouraged investors to put more than $600,000 into technology company Severgy, Inc., according to The New York Times, while not telling them he was making a commission on their investment and misrepresenting himself as an investor in the company.
“We went into this knowing that the Texas Rangers would uncover whatever evidence was there and if there was a sufficient amount that we would present it to a grand jury, so that’s what we did,” Kent Schaffer, one of the special prosecutors assigned to the case told The New York Times. “The grand jury elected to indict, and the indictments all speak for themselves.”
More to come.