FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Former Hanford-area congressman TJ Cox was released from Fresno County Jail Tuesday afternoon – hours after his arrest on federal fraud charges that morning.
Cox is facing a 28-count indictment, which was unsealed Tuesday in the Eastern District of California. Federal prosecutors say Cox is facing multiple charges relating to fraud schemes and campaign contribution fraud – including 15 counts of wire fraud, 11 counts of money laundering, one count of financial institution fraud, and one count of campaign contribution fraud.
According to jail logs, Cox was booked into Fresno County Jail at around 8:30 a.m. and was released around 5:00 p.m., when he spoke to reporters gathered outside.
“I was facing charges today, I pled not guilty, and we look forward to vigorously defending those allegations against me,” said Cox.
The former congressman described his time inside Fresno County Jail as an opportunity to reflect and revealed that he was yet to read the indictment against him.
When asked if he had anything to say to his former constituents, Cox said that he achieved a lot for the people of California’s 21st Congressional District.
“We served for a couple of years, we got a lot done for the city and for this region and hopefully that’ll continue under people that are looking to serve the people. But I tell you what, politics is a tough game. I wouldn’t be in this position today but for the politics – and I think we all know that.”
Cox left the group of reporters outside Fresno County Jail and as he was about to get into a car driven by his attorney, Cox was asked if he felt sorry about what he did.
“For helping people? I never feel sorry for helping people and making a positive difference.”
If he is convicted, Cox could face a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for wire fraud and money laundering, according to the Department of Justice.