In the ongoing fraud saga surrounding former Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX), prosecutors have introduced charges claiming the Texas Republican solicited Egyptian military officials to help him secure a $30 million "donation" from a failing cement company.
The Houston Chronicle reported that Stockman, who is facing 28 counts ranging from filing a false tax return to improper use of campaign funds in his federal corruption trial, never got the donation from Mexico-based company CEMEX during a trip to the North African country. However, he did allegedly pay an aide who arranged the visit from accounts meant for another charitable cause.
During testimony on Tuesday, a witness said the former congressman "claimed the funds would go toward educating Americans about the historic importance of Egypt and the Middle East, or perhaps toward shipping medical supplies to Egypt and Africa."
Stockman was indicted last May after investigators found evidence of what government lawyers called a "white collar crime spree" that included accusations that he and a former aide "stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from charities, some of which they used to finance his campaigns and pay for personal expenses," the Texas Tribune reported at the time.
Though the Chronicle did not mention the date of the trip, Stockman did admit in January 2014 that he had been in Egypt and Russia after his absence from campaign and congressional events in Texas and Washington raised suspicions that he was "missing."