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List of American Federal Politicians Convicted of Crimes
This list consists of American politicians convicted of crimes either committed or prosecuted while holding office in the federal government.The politicians are sublisted under the President they served. It includes politicians who were convicted or pleaded guilty in a court of law; and does not include politicians involved in unprosecuted scandals (which may or may not have been illegal in nature), or politicians who have only been arrested or indicted. The list also does not include crimes that occur outside the politician's tenure unless they specifically stem from acts while they were in office. It does not include convictions which were vacated (e.g. Ted Stevens (R)).
Although the convicted politicians are arranged by presidential terms starting with the most recent, many of the crimes have little or no connection to who is president. Since the passage of 20th Amendment on January 23, 1933, presidential terms have begun on January 20 of the year following the presidential election; prior to that, they began on March 4.
Anthony Weiner (D-NY) was convicted of sending sexually explicit photos of himself to a 15-year-old girl and was made to sign the sexual offenders register. He also was sentenced to 21 months in prison, a charge that was later reduced to 18 months. He reported to prison in November 2017 and was released in May 2019. (2017)
Corrine Brown (D-FL) was convicted on 18 felony counts of wire and tax fraud, conspiracy, lying to federal investigators, and other corruption charges. (2017)
Chaka Fattah (D-PA) was convicted on 23 counts of racketeering, fraud, and other corruption charges. (2016)
Michael Grimm (R-NY) pleaded guilty of felony tax evasion. This was the fourth count in a 20-count indictment brought against him for improper use of campaign funds. The guilty plea had a maximum sentence of three years; he was sentenced to eight months in prison. (2015)
Trey Radel (R-FL) was convicted of possession of cocaine in November 2013. As a first-time offender, he was sentenced to one year probation and fined $250. Radel announced he would take a leave of absence, but did not resign. Later, under pressure from a number of Republican leaders, he announced through a spokesperson that he would resign. (2013)
Rick Renzi (R-AZ) was found guilty on 17 of 32 counts against him June 12, 2013, including wire fraud, conspiracy, extortion, racketeering, money laundering and making false statements to insurance regulators. (2013)
Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) pleaded guilty February 20, 2013, to one count of wire and mail fraud in connection with his misuse of $750,000 in campaign funds. Jackson was sentenced to two-and-one-half years' imprisonment. (2013)
Laura Richardson (D-CA) was found guilty on seven counts of violating US House rules by improperly using her staff to campaign for her, destroying the evidence and tampering with witness testimony. The House Ethics Committee ordered Richardson to pay a fine of $10,000. (2012)
Scott Bloch (R) United States Special Counsel, pleaded guilty to criminal contempt of Congress for "willfully and unlawfully withholding pertinent information from a House Committee investigating his decision to have several government computers wiped...." Bloch was sentenced to one day in jail and two years' probation, and also ordered him to pay a $5,000 fine and perform 200 hours of community service. (2013)
Felipe Sixto (R) Special Assistant for Intergovernmental Affairs, convicted of misusing money. Sentenced to 30 months. (2009)
Scooter Libby (R) Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney (R). 'Scooter' was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in the Plame Affair on March 6, 2007 and was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $250,000. His sentence was commuted by George W. Bush (R) on July 1, 2007. (2007) Libby was pardoned by President Donald Trump on April 13, 2018.
William J. Jefferson (D-LA) was charged in August 2005 after the FBI seized $90,000 in cash from his home freezer. He was re-elected to the House in 2006, but lost in 2008. He was convicted November 13, 2009, of 11 counts of bribery and sentenced to 13 years in prison. (2009) Jefferson's Chief of Staff Brett Pfeffer, was sentenced to 84 months for bribery. (2006)
Jack Abramoff CNMI scandal involves the efforts of Abramoff to influence Congressional action concerning U.S. immigration and minimum wage laws. See Executive branch convictions. Congressmen convicted in the Abramoff scandal include:
Bob Ney (R-OH) pleaded guilty to conspiracy and making false statements as a result of his receiving trips from Abramoff in exchange for legislative favors. Ney received 30 months in prison. (2007)
Duke Cunningham (R-CA) pleaded guilty November 28, 2005, to charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion in what came to be called the Cunningham scandal and was sentenced to over eight years in prison. (2005)
Bill Janklow (R-SD) was convicted of second-degree manslaughter for running a stop sign and killing a motorcyclist. Resigned from the House and given 100 days in the county jail and three years' probation. (2003)
Jim Traficant (D-OH) was found guilty on ten felony counts of financial corruption, sentenced to eight years in prison and expelled from the House of Representatives. (2002)
Darleen A. Druyun (D), Principal Deputy United States Under Secretary of the Air Force. She pleaded guilty to inflating the price of contracts to favor her future employer, Boeing. In October 2004, she was sentenced to nine months in jail for corruption, fined $5,000, given three years of supervised release and 150 hours of community service (2005). CBS News called it "the biggest Pentagon scandal in 20 years" and said that she pleaded guilty to a felony.
Mel Reynolds (D-IL) was convicted on 12 counts of sexual assault, obstruction of justice and solicitation of child pornography. (1997) He was later convicted of 12 counts of bank fraud. (1999)
Wes Cooley (R-OR), was convicted of having lied on the 1994 voter information pamphlet about his service in the Army. He was fined and sentenced to two years' probation (1997) He was later convicted of income tax fraud connected to an investment scheme. He was sentenced to one year in prison and to pay restitution of $3.5 million to investors and $138,000 to the IRS.
Austin Murphy (D-PA) was convicted of one count of voter fraud for filling out absentee ballots for members of a nursing home. (1999)
House banking scandal The House of Representatives Bank found that 450 members had overdrawn their checking accounts, but not been penalized. Six were convicted of charges, most only tangentially related to the House Bank itself. Twenty two more of the most prolific over-drafters were singled out by the House Ethics Committee. (1992)
Nicholas Mavroules (D-MA) was convicted of extortion, accepting illegal gifts and failing to report them on congressional disclosure and income tax forms. Mavroules pleaded guilty to fifteen counts in April 1993 and was sentenced to a fifteen-month prison term. (1993)
Albert Bustamante (D-TX) was convicted of accepting bribes and sentenced to three-and-one-half years in prison. (1993)
David Durenberger Senator (R-MN) denounced by Senate for unethical financial transactions and then disbarred (1990). He pleaded guilty to misuse of public funds and given one year's probation (1995)
Jay Kim (R-CA) accepted $250,000 in illegal 1992 campaign contributions and was sentenced to two months' house arrest. (1992)
James E. Gaines, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy, took over when Paisley resigned his office. Gaines was convicted of accepting an illegal gratuity and theft and conversion of government property. He was sentenced to six months in prison.
Victor D. Cohen, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, was the 50th conviction obtained under the Ill Wind probe when he pleaded guilty to accepting bribes and conspiring to defraud the government. He was sentenced to 33 months in prison.
Iran-Contra affair (1985-1986); A secret sale of arms to Iran, to secure the release of hostages and allow U.S. intelligence agencies to fund the Nicaraguan Contras, in violation of the Boland Amendment.
Jon Hinson (R-MS) was arrested for having homosexual oral sex in the House of Representatives' bathroom with a government staffer. Hinson, who was married, later received a 30-day jail sentence, and a year's probation, on condition that he get counseling and treatment. (1981)
1977-1981 (Jimmy Carter (D) presidency)
Frank M. Clark (D-PA) pleaded guilty to mail fraud and tax evasion and was sentenced to two years in prison. (1979)
J. Herbert Burke (R-FL) pleaded guilty to disorderly intoxication, resisting arrest, and nolo contendere to an additional charge of witness tampering. He was sentenced to three months plus fines.(1978)
Fred Richmond (D-NY) - Convicted of tax fraud and possession of marijuana. Served 9 months in prison. Charges of soliciting sex from a 16-year-old boy were dropped after he submitted to counseling. (1978)
Charles Diggs (D-MI), convicted on 29 charges of mail fraud and filing false payroll forms which formed a kickback scheme with his staff. Sentenced to 3 years. (1978)
Richard Tonry (D-LA) pleaded guilty to receiving illegal campaign contributions. (1977)
Earl Butz (R) United States Secretary of Agriculture. He was charged with failing to report more than $148,000 in 1978. Butz pleaded guilty to the tax evasion charge and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and five years of probation and was ordered to make restitution. He served 25 days behind bars before his release.
James F. Hastings (R-NY), convicted of kickbacks and mail fraud, he also took money from his employees for personal use. Served 14 months at Allenwood penitentiary. (1976)
Bertram Podell (D-NY), pleaded guilty to conspiracy and conflict of interest. He was fined $5,000 and served four months in prison. (1974)
Frank Brasco (D-NY) sentenced to 5 years in jail and fined $10,000 for conspiracy to accept bribes from a reputed Mafia figure who sought truck leasing contracts from the Post Office and loans to buy trucks. (1974)
Watergate (1972-1973) Republican 'bugging' of the Democratic Party National Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel led to a burglary which was discovered. The cover up of the affair by President Richard Nixon (R) and his staff resulted in 69 government officials being charged and 48 pleading guilty, including 7 for actual burglary. Eventually, Nixon resigned his position.
James Fred Hastings (R-NY) convicted of receiving kickbacks and mail fraud. He served 14 months at Allenwood penitentiary (1976).
Edwin Reinecke (R-CA) convicted of perjury and sentenced to 18 months in prison as part of the Watergate investigation. (1973)
J. Irving Whalley (R-PA) received suspended three-year sentence and fined $11,000 in 1973 for using mails to deposit staff salary kickbacks and threatening an employee to prevent her from giving information to the FBI. (1973)
Martin B. McKneally (R-NY) placed on one year's probation and fined $5,000 for failing to file income tax return. He had not paid taxes for many years prior. (1971)
Ted Kennedy Senator (D-MA) drove his car into the channel between Chappaquiddick Island and Martha's Vineyard, killing passenger Mary Jo Kopechne. Kennedy pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and received a suspended sentence of two months (1969)
1963-1969 (Lyndon B. Johnson (D) presidency)
Daniel Brewster (D-MD) pleaded no contest to accepting "an unlawful gratuity without corrupt intent." (1969)
Thomas F. Johnson (D-MD) was convicted of conspiracy and conflict of interest regarding the receipt of illegal gratuities. (1962)
1953-1961 (Dwight D. Eisenhower (R) presidency)
Thomas J. Lane (D-MA) convicted for evading taxes on his congressional income. Served 4 months in prison, but was re-elected three more times (1956).
Ernest K. Bramblett (R-CA) received a suspended sentence and a $5,000 fine for making false statements in connection with payroll padding and kickbacks from congressional employees. (1954)
1945-1953 (Harry S. Truman (D) presidency)
Walter E. Brehm (R-OH) convicted of accepting contributions illegally from one of his employees. Received a 15-month suspended sentence and a $5,000 fine. (1951)
J. Parnell Thomas (R-NJ) was convicted of salary fraud and given an 18-month sentence and a fine. He was imprisoned in Danbury Prison. After serving his 18 months he was pardoned by Truman. (1950)
Andrew J. May (D-KY) convicted of accepting bribes from a war munitions manufacturer. Was sentenced to 9 months in prison, after which he was pardoned by Truman. (1947)
John W. Langley (R-KY) convicted of violating the Volstead Act (Prohibition). He had also been caught trying to bribe a Prohibition officer. He was sentenced to two years, after which his wife Katherine G. Langley ran for Congress in his place and won two full terms. (1926)
Robert Smalls (R-NC) NC Representative was charged with accepting a $5,000 bribe during 1877 in relation to a government printing contract and found guilty. Smalls was pardoned in 1879 by South Carolina Governor William Simpson.
Jack Camp (R), Senior Federal U.S. District Court Judge was arrested in an undercover drug bust while trying to purchase cocaine from an FBI agent. Judge Jack T. Camp resigned his position after pleading guilty to three criminal charges. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail, 400 community service hours and fined (2010).
Alcee Hastings (D), Federal District court judge impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate of soliciting a bribe (1989). Subsequently, elected to the U.S. House of Representatives (1992).
Harry Claiborne (D), Federal District court Judge was tried and convicted of federal tax evasion; he served over one year in prison (1983). He was later impeached by the House, convicted by the Senate and removed from office (1986).
^Katz, Celeste (June 20, 2011). "Document Drop: Weiner's Resignation Letter". New York Daily News. Dear Secretary Perales and Governor Cuomo: I hereby resign as the Member of the House of Representatives for New York's Ninth Congressional District effective at midnight, Tuesday, June 21, 2011. It has been an honor to serve the people of Queens and Brooklyn. (scan of letter of resignation at this link)
^Michael J. Sniffen and Matt Apuzzo (Associated Press),"Libby Found Guilty in CIA Leak Trial: Ex-Cheney Aide Libby Found Guilty of Obstruction, Perjury, Lying to the FBI in CIA Leak Case", ABC News, March 6, 2007
^latimes.com, August 23, 1991, Ex-Official Enters 'Ill Wind' Guilty Plea : Defense: It marks the 50th conviction obtained under the probe of Pentagon procurement fraud. He faces 20 years in jail at sentencing Dec. 6 by ROBERT L. JACKSON, Archived 2015-11-08 at the Wayback Machine
^Walsh, Lawrence E. (August 4, 1993). "Final Report of the Independent Counsel For Iran/Contra Matters Vol. I: Investigations and Prosecutions". Summary of Prosecutions. U. S. Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia.