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US Rep. Fortenberry found guilty in campaign probe

Nebraska Congressman Campaign Contributions
Posted at 11:03 AM, Mar 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-25 11:03:37-04

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A federal jury has convicted U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska on charges that he lied to federal authorities about an illegal $30,000 contribution to his campaign from a foreign billionaire at a 2016 Los Angeles fundraiser.

The jury in California deliberated about two hours before finding the nine-term Republican guilty of one count of falsifying and concealing material facts and two counts of making false statements.

Fortenberry was charged after sitting for two interviews with FBI agents who were investigating the donor, Gilbert Chagoury, a Nigerian billionaire of Lebanese descent.

Fortenberry argued at trial that he was set up by FBI agents and prosecutors twisted his words.

Fortenberry's sentencing is scheduled for June 28. According to CNN, he could face up to five years in prison for each charge.

It's unclear whether Fortenberry will continue to serve in Congress. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy indicated Friday he would be speaking with Fortenberry.