First Court Appearance Set for Texas Attorney General in Securities Fraud Case

First Court Appearance Set for Texas Attorney General in Securities Fraud Case

Texas criminal defense attorney reports the Attorney General is scheduled to appear in court Aug. 27 after being indicted on three federal charges.

Dallas, Tx, 08/25/2015 / /

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is set to make his first court appearance after being indicted on federal securities fraud charges. Reports say that Paxton, who has been charged with two-first-degree felonies and a third-degree felony, will appear in court in Fort Worth on August 27.


Source: WFAA Report “Attorney General Ken Paxton to appear in court Aug. 27”


“FORT WORTH -- Attorney General Ken Paxton is scheduled to appear in court at the end of the month. Judge George Gallagher's office confirmed Friday that Paxton will appear in a Fort Worth courtroom at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 27. Paxton surrendered earlier this week in Collin County after a grand jury decided to indict him on three federal charges. He was booked and released from the jail on personal recognizance bonds.”


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Paxton also stands accused of defrauding two people in the sum of over $100,000, and failing to register with the state to sell securities. If convicted on the charges he may face a prison sentence of up to 99 years. The Texas grand jury indicted Paxton in July.


Source: Associated Press Report “Prosecutor: Texas AG indicted for felony securities fraud”


“AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- A grand jury has indicted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on felony securities fraud charges that accuse the Republican of misleading investors before he took over as the state's top law enforcement officer, a special prosecutor said Saturday.”


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A Politically Motivated Investigation?


Aides of Paxton have called the investigation leading up to his indictment politically motivated. Paxton spokesman Anthony Holm stated in early July of the investigation, “This appears to be a politically motivated effort to ruin the career of a longtime public servant…These attacks on Ken Paxton appear to have become a political hit-job in the media, perhaps having the effect of inappropriately influencing the grand jury.”


Public officials accused of deceptive financial practices do in many cases become subjected to extensive media scrutiny, which they fear can have an impact on their outcome of their case. According to Texas based criminal defense attorney and former federal prosecutors John Helms, who is not directly affiliated with Paxton’s case, “Elected officials who are accused of crimes need a careful strategy for handling pretrial publicity.  For some, it may be important to make some specifics of their defense public in order to reassure voters.  For others, the better course may be simply to issue a strong denial of the charges and then let the issue quickly fade from the public consciousness.”


When Accused of a White Collar Crime as a Public Official


Prosecutors allege that Paxton encouraged investors to put money into a company, misrepresenting himself as an investor and failing to disclose that he was to receive a commission on the investment. The case provides an illustration of the confusion that some criminal defense attorneys suggest exists between what constitutes acting within the realms of the law and criminal activities in certain financial dealings as a public official. Every case of an alleged violation of a securities law is different, and in a number of cases, such accusations have proven to be unfounded by criminal courts. Time will tell whether this proves to be the outcome in Paxton’s case.


Public officials who have questions about their legal rights if they have been accused of securities fraud or any type of white-collar crime, can contact the Dallas based criminal defense lawyers of Broden Mickelsen Helms & Snipes for information about their legal options.


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