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Former Democratic Rep. TJ Cox Arrested in Fraud Scheme Worth Over $3 Million

A former California Democrat who owns acompany that won afederal loan amid the COVID-19 pandemic was accused of a series of frauds Tuesday. . office.

Terrance John "T.J." His 59-year-old Cox of Fresno accused of siphoning more than $1.7 million of his money from a co-owned almond processing company and fraudulently obtained a $1.5 development loan , was indicted on 28 indictments.

Cox is also accused of arranging for his friends and family to make illicit contributions of more than $25,000 of his to his 2018 election campaign.

Cox speaks to a crowd.
AP/Andrew Harnik

Cox provided money in advance or "straw" Subsequent donors.

Cox in his 2018 election to the House of Representatives Republican Rep. David He narrowly defeated Baradao, defeating the incumbent with just 862 votes, less than 1% of his total votes cast.

However, in 2020, Baradao launched after Cox came under fire for asking for special access to Yosemite National Park to celebrate 4th of July despite COVID-19 restrictions. I got my seat back.

Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif., speaks during the news conference on the Invest to Protect Act outside the Capitol on Thursday, May 12, 2022.
CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Imag

Cox's campaign also uses Photoshop software. To make it look like Valadao, who reportedly admitted to using it, retweeted a message from then-President Donald Trump: "California is going to hell. Vote Trump!"

The Post reported in July 2020 that Cox was one of several Democratic lawmakers associated with companies that received millions in paycheck protection program loans induced by the pandemic.

The almond processing company made as much as $350,000 in profits, as did an elderly care provider to which Cox had a financial stake worth up to $1 million.

Those loans were not included in the indictment opened Tuesday.

After the loss, Cox formed a Political Action Committee on a possible rematch, but she instead endorsed Democrat Rudy Salas in November.

The Cook Political Report assesses the race between Salas and Varadao — who voted to impeach Trump over the January 6 attacks on the United States 50} House Republicans are one of only 10 people in the Capitol — as a toss-up.

Cox's alleged fraud with an almond processing company included at least $750,000 in client payments, company loans, and diversion into secret accounts purported to be investments, according to prosecutors.

The former legislator was also accused of falsifying documents stating that a loan to redevelop Fresno's Granite Park sports complex would be guaranteed by one of his companies. It is

Assemblyman Rudy Salas Jr. asks questions during a hearing in Sacramento, Calif.
AP/Ricci Pedroncelli

The loan later defaulted and the lender nearly lost money. It suffered $1.3 million, according to prosecutors.

According to online records, Cox was imprisoned in Fresno Prison after he was arrested by the FBI.

Information about his defense and his first court appearance was not immediately available.