Richard Uihlein testified Wednesday in the former Texas Republican congressman’s federal corruption trial that his donation was to go to renovate a Washington, D.C., home for young conservatives, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Stockman is accused of using charitable donations for personal and campaign expenses and is charged with wire fraud, violating election law and filing a false tax return.
Uihlein, a conservative megadonor, testified that his father, Ed Uihlein, was a fan of Stockman’s during the Texas Republican’s first stint in Congress from 1995 to 1997.
The younger Uihlein said it was in that spirit after meeting with Stockman in 2013 that he cut a $350,000 check from the Ed Uihlein Family Foundation to Stockman for a planned Freedom House to provide a place for young conservative interns to live in Washington.
“I felt they were trustworthy,” he said of Stockman and an aide he met with. “And I trusted that they would spend the money the way they said.”
Instead, the money went into a nearly empty account for a nonprofit called Life Without Limits, FBI agent Spencer Brooks testified.
Within a week, Stockman and his aides used $82,000 to pay for expenses like credit card debt and campaign costs, according to Brooks.
The donation was also used to pay for a friend’s stint in rehab and an employee’s wife’s funeral, Brooks testified.
But Stockman’s attorney Sean Buckley said Stockman was duped by two of his aides who have since pleaded guilty.
“What we’re seeing is a pattern of Mr. Stockman helping people who are dealing with serious life problems,” he said.
“Mr. Stockman’s failure was trusting them,” Buckley said about the aides.
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