Earlier Monday morning, state Attorney General Ken Paxton was booked in Collin County on three felony counts, making him the first sitting attorney general in more than 30 years to face criminal indictment in Texas.
Facing two charges of securities fraud, a first-degree felony, and one third-degree felony charge of failing to register as a securities agent, Paxton on Monday morning posted the $35,000 bond for release, according to records out of Collin County.
News of the indictments, which a Collin County grand jury apparently returned early last week under seal, first broke on Saturday. The most serious charges against Paxton accuse him of encouraging investors to dump more than $600,000 into Severgy Inc., a McKinney-based tech company in which Paxton reportedly owns some 10,000 shares, without disclosing that he'd make a commission on their investment.
Paxton paid a meager fine of $1,000 last summer after he admitted to violations of state securities laws, but his case was never forwarded to prosecutors by the governor-appointed members of the State Securities Board. The left-leaning watchdog group Texans for Public Justice filed a complaint with Travis County, which ultimately forwarded the case to Collin County where the alleged criminal activity occurred.
The indictments against Paxton, which were unsealed Monday at noon, allege that the fraud occurred on or about July 26, 2011.
In a statement released today, Craig McDonald of TPJ said, “The only acceptable response to Paxton's indictment is his resignation. The state's highest law enforcement officer must be held to the highest standards of conduct.”
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.