Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been indicted in Collin County on felony charges accusing him of misleading investors before taking over as the state's top law enforcement officer.
While the grand jury indictments were issued on Tuesday and immediately sealed, they were to be unsealed on Monday, when Paxton was expected to surrender.
The 52-year-old Republican is the first Texas attorney general to be indicted since Jim Mattox was charged with bribery in 1983, and later acquitted.
Paxton's attorney and spokesperson declined to comment, citing specific instructions from the judge, refraining both sides from discussing the matter. The state's top Republican leaders, including Gov. Greg Abbott also kept quiet, opting not to comment on the high-profile case.
If convicted, the attorney general could be sentenced to life in prison.
Indicted in a county known for being extremely conservative, Paxton's case has nothing to do with politics or his actions as the attorney general. Rather, it stems from something that occurred back in 2011.
Paxton is accused of encouraging investors to put more than $600,000 into Servergy Inc., a technology company based in McKinney. According to the allegations, he failed to disclose to the investors that he was making a commission on their investment and he allegedly misrepresented himself as a fellow investor.
Though Paxton won praise from U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and other conservatives, some Republicans have been wary of Paxton due to his questionable investment deals in the past.
The case against Paxton began in May of 2014, after he was reprimanded by the Texas State Securities Board for not registering as a representative of Mowery Capital Management, an investment advisory firm run by one of Paxton's personal friends. Paxton reportedly solicited three clients for the firm.
After paying a $1,000 civil penalty, Paxton thought it was all over, but it wasn't. The Texas Rangers led the investigation against Paxton, and a grand jury was convinced there was enough evidence to indict, despite Paxton's claims that his violations were innocent lapses.
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