PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Court documents reveal how former House Speaker Gordon Fox used $108,000 of the donated campaign funds for his own personal expenses.
Search warrants obtained by investigators during the raid of Fox’s home show they were searching for all of his financial documents and records. This also included anything that could be found on electronic devices; computers, tablets and cell phones.
- Complete Coverage: Gordon Fox Investigation
According to the court documents from 2008 to 2014, Fox transferred the $108,000 from his campaign account labeled “Friends of Gordon Fox” into his personal bank accounts.
The documents show that the donations then went to pay for a bevy of personal expenses, including mortgage payments, car loans, and credit card purchases at various retailers.
Investigators uncovered Fox filed at least 60 campaign finance reports since 2008 as required by law, but failed to report the ones made into his personal account.
Fox even listed the campaign fund as having a balance of $212,060.66 at the end of 2013, although bank records show the actual balance was $52,403.02.
Another red flag occurred in 2004, when Fox nixed his campaign fund treasurer, and instead made himself treasurer.
“When you ask people for money for campaign funds, and use it for something else, you’ve lied to them,” said Rhode Island U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha in Tuesday’s news conference. “There is no other way to say it. You’ve committed fraud.”
Documents also show Fox may have also committed tax fraud because he did not report the money he took from his campaign fund as income on his 2008 through 2010 tax returns.
Gordon Fox pleaded guilty in court and was released on personal recognizance.
If the judge accepts his plea deal in June, he will be sentenced to three years in federal prison.