Top 10 American Politicians Convicted of Fraud

Here is a compilation of some American politicians who have been convicted of fraud. On a side note, you should refrain from engaging in fraudulent activities prior to pursuing a career in politics in the United States. Once in office, ensure that you uphold the oath you have sworn. The politicians on this list have either committed fraud before taking office or while in office.

1. Jim Beck

Jim Beck

Jim C. Beck, formerly the Insurance Commissioner of Georgia from January 14, 2019, to July 22, 2021, announced his candidacy for the position of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner of Georgia in August 2017. However, Governor Brian Kemp suspended him in 2019 due to ongoing investigations into allegations of illegal activities that occurred before he assumed office. Beck was subsequently convicted on July 22, 2021, on 37 counts of fraud and money laundering, leading to his immediate removal from office.

2. Doug Green

Doug Green, a former Louisiana insurance commissioner, was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison in 1991 for accepting $2 million in illegal campaign contributions from insurance company owners conducting business with the state.

3. Michael Grimm

Michael Grimm

Michael Gerard Grimm, a former United States Congressman who represented New York from 2011 to 2015, was convicted of felony tax fraud and other charges. On April 28, 2014, federal authorities brought forth 20 counts of fraud, federal tax evasion, and perjury against Grimm. Subsequently, on December 23, 2014, he pleaded guilty to felony tax fraud and admitted to perjury, hiring illegal immigrants, and wire fraud. Despite initially stating his intention to remain in office, Grimm announced his resignation from Congress on December 30, 2014, effective January 5, 2015. On July 17, 2015, Grimm was sentenced to eight months in prison for tax evasion.

4. David Cole

David Cole is a former Alabama politician who served as the representative for District 10 in the Alabama House of Representatives from 2022 to 2023. However, his time in office was cut short in August 2023 when he got busted for voting at a place he wasn't supposed to. Turns out, Cole had rented a tiny 5-by-5-foot spot in a friend's house for just $5 a month back in 2021, and he lied about living there so he could run and vote in District 10.

Because of his shady moves, Cole was hit with charges of voter fraud and had to step down from his position in the state house as part of a plea deal. In October, he was slapped with a 60-day prison sentence for his sneaky behavior.

5. Roderick Wright

Roderick Wright

Roderick Devon "Rod" Wright is a Democratic politician who formerly represented California's 35th State Senate district until his resignation on September 22, 2014. In September 2010, a grand jury in Los Angeles County unsealed an eight-count felony indictment against Wright. The indictment accused him of filing a false declaration of candidacy, voter fraud, and perjury, all stemming from actions taken in 2007 when he changed his voter registration to run for the Legislature.

Wright was convicted of eight counts of voter fraud on January 28, 2014. As a result, he was sentenced to ninety days of confinement and permanently banned from holding public office. Subsequently, Wright resigned from the State Senate on September 22, 2014 and was pardoned On November 21, 2018 by Governor Jerry Brown.

6. Rod Blagojevich

Rod Blagojevich

Rod Blagojevich is an American politician and political commentator who served as the 40th governor of Illinois from 2003 to 2009. However, his political career was marred by scandal when he was impeached, removed from office, convicted, and incarcerated for eight years on federal charges of public corruption.

7. Katrina Robinson

Katrina Robinson

Katrina Robinson is a former politician and member of the Democratic Party who represented the 33rd district in the Tennessee Senate from 2019 to 2022. She made history as the first sitting member of the state senate to be indicted since Operation Tennessee Waltz, and ultimately became the first person ever to be expelled from the state senate. Robinson faced a total of forty-eight charges related to the alleged embezzlement of $600,000 from federal grants intended for her nursing school in 2020. Following legal proceedings, the charges were reduced to twenty, and Judge Sheryl H. Lipman ultimately acquitted her of fifteen charges. However, Robinson was found guilty on four counts of wire fraud in 2021.

8. Jesse Jackson Jr.

Jesse Jackson Jr.

Jesse Louis Jackson Jr. is a former American politician who represented Illinois's 2nd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1995 until his resignation in 2012. In October 2012, Jackson came under investigation for financial improprieties, including the misuse of campaign funds. Subsequently, he resigned from Congress on November 21, 2012, citing mental and physical health issues, including bipolar disorder and gastrointestinal problems.

On February 8, 2013, Jackson admitted to violating federal campaign laws by using campaign funds for personal expenses. He pleaded guilty on February 20, 2013, to one count of wire and mail fraud. As a result, on August 14, 2013, he was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison. He was released from prison on March 26, 2015.

9. Joel Greenberg

Joel Greenberg

Joel Micah Greenberg is a Florida politician and former tax collector of Seminole County. He made headlines in 2020 when he was arrested and charged with a multitude of federal offenses. The indictment against Greenberg included 33 criminal counts, ranging from theft and stalking to trafficking, cryptocurrency fraud, and Small Business Administration loan fraud. On May 17, 2021, Greenberg entered a guilty plea to six federal charges, including trafficking of a minor, as part of a negotiated plea deal.

10. Catherine Pugh

Catherine Pugh

Catherine Elizabeth Pugh is a former politician who held the position of the 51st mayor of Baltimore from 2016 to 2019. In April 2019, Pugh announced her decision to take an indefinite leave of absence to recover from pneumonia. This announcement came amidst a scandal involving a self-dealing arrangement, where organizations purchased a significant number of Pugh's books in exchange for city contracts. 

On May 2, 2019, Pugh resigned as mayor due to the book scandal. Subsequently, on November 20, 2019, she was indicted by a grand jury on eleven counts, including tax evasion, fraud, and conspiracy related to the book transactions. The following day, Pugh entered into a plea agreement, admitting guilt to four charges of conspiracy and tax evasion.
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