Ken Paxton’s criminal trial set for May 1


Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s criminal trial on securities fraud charges will begin May 1.

The order by state District Judge George Gallagher also set aside four days for jury selection to begin April 20 in Collin County.

Paxton’s trial will come just as the Texas Legislature begins its frantic final month and shortly before politicians turn their attention to the 2018 primary elections. Paxton recently announced that he will enter primary season with almost $4.6 million in his campaign account after raising about $2.7 million in 2016 — a signal to potential Republican challengers that he will be a formidable foe if he were to emerge from trial with a not guilty verdict.

Paxton has been charged with two counts of securities fraud, first-degree felonies that carry a maximum punishment of 99 years in prison, accusing him of approaching investors in 2011 to tout Servergy Inc. without revealing to potential investors that the McKinney tech company was paying him to push its stock.

He also was charged with failing to register with state securities regulators, a third-degree felony.

“We’re delighted that the matter is set for trial,” defense lawyer Dan Cogdell said. “We’re anxious to begin trial and we’re confident that the right result will happen and Ken will be acquitted.”

Cogdell said defense lawyers and prosecutors estimate the trial will take two to three weeks.

Paxton’s trial will begin almost 21 months after indictments from a Collin County grand jury were unveiled and he was arrested, fingerprinted and released on bond.

Defense lawyers concentrated efforts on getting the charges dismissed before trial, but Gallagher and two appeals courts rejected those efforts.

Paxton also has been accused of fraud in the same business deals by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. A federal judge tossed out the SEC complaint in October, saying the agency’s allegations weren’t recognized under federal securities law, but the SEC amended and refiled its complaint.

U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant III has not yet ruled on Paxton’s request to dismiss the amended civil complaint, which sought fines and an order for Paxton to repay “ill-gotten gains” from the Servergy deals.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Man linked to suspect in plot to kill Travis County judge to testify
Man linked to suspect in plot to kill Travis County judge to testify

An associate of Chimene Onyeri, who federal authorities say plotted to kill Travis County District Judge Julie Kocurek in 2015, is expected to testify Wednesday about the traffic stop that led to Onyeri’s arrest. Reginald Matthews failed to show up to a hearing last week, prompting U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel to instruct defense lawyers to...
FORECAST: Cold front sinks temps into 40s ahead of storms
FORECAST: Cold front sinks temps into 40s ahead of storms

Wednesday forecast for Austin: An overnight cold front has caused a severe drop in morning temperatures and will usher in a round of storms that could produce as much as three-quarters of an inch of rain, the National Weather Service says. Forecasters say isolated to widely scattered showers will move north-northeast across the Hill Country and along...
Fifth UT-area Subway robbery reported in two months
Fifth UT-area Subway robbery reported in two months

An armed robbery occurred Tuesday night at a Subway fast food restaurant on San Antonio Street near West 24th Street, University of Texas police said. At 10 p.m., police said they were looking for the robber, who witnesses described as a man wearing baggy clothing, who might be in his mid-30s.  This is the the fifth Subway to be robbed in...
Manchaca vs. Menchaca: Step closer to renaming South Austin road
Manchaca vs. Menchaca: Step closer to renaming South Austin road

It’s always been a head-scratcher for outsiders — Austinites pronouncing Manchaca Road as “MAN-shack.” But after decades of confusion, will Austin finally get it right? After six years and more than $24,000 raised, retired Judge Bob Perkins certainly hopes so. Since 2011, he’s been a champion for Texas Revolutionary captain...
Mayor Adler’s State of City address covers taxes, CodeNext and Russia
Mayor Adler’s State of City address covers taxes, CodeNext and Russia

Austin Mayor Steve Adler delivered Tuesday a State of the City address that blamed the state for continual rises in property tax bills, touted the numerous amount of road projects ahead that will — hopefully — improve traffic and vowed to make Austin a global leader. In an address that checked in at about 42 minutes, Adler hit on many of...
More Stories