Misspending $25,000 in Campaign funds, a Texas Judge faces fraud charges
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Accused of allegedly spending campaign money for her individual expenses, a Tex judge is now facing fraud charges.
Harris County Judge Alexandra Smoots-Thomas did misuse nearly $25,000 of the campaign funds in the period from January 2016 to March 2017, said prosecutors. According to the indictment unsealed on Friday, she used that amount of money to buy private school tuition, a home mortgage, jewelry and travel.
Smoots-Thomas pleaded not guilty on Friday after she turned herself into U.S. Magistrate Peter Bray. The indictment states that the 44-year-old Smoots-Thomas hid her personal expenses from the campaign treasurer at the time.
According to Attorney Kent Schaffer, he believed Smoots-Thomas didn’t defraud anybody. He said she was targeted by federal prosecutors as she is a black female Democrat.
Smoots-Thomas was a presider of over the 164th District Court and has jurisdiction over Harris County’s civil cases.
A pre-trial conference is planned to set for Jan. 6, 2020.