Texas attorney general’s criminal fraud trial set for May 2017

FILE PHOTO - In this July 29, 2015, file photo, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks during a hearing in Austin, Texas. Paxton is closer to standing trial on criminal fraud charges after the state’s highest appeals court refused to consider dismissing his felony indictments. The decision Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016, exhausts the Republican’s efforts to end the case before trial. Paxton is accused of misleading wealthy investors he personally recruited for a high-tech startup in 2011, four years before becoming Texas’ top prosecutor. He has pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is set to stand trial on criminal securities fraud charges in May.

The trial date finally set by state District Judge George Gallagher comes 18 months after Texas’ top prosecutor was indicted on felony charges of defrauding wealthy investors.

Paxton has pleaded not guilty and faces 5 to 99 years in prison if convicted.

Federal securities regulators similarly accuse Paxton of duping investors in 2011, five years before he became attorney general. The Republican is accused of breaking the law by luring investors toward the high-tech startup Servergy Inc. without telling them the company was paying him.

A nearly identical civil case brought against Paxton by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was thrown out by a federal judge. Federal regulators, however, are trying again.

 

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