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Feds Offer Former Congressman TJ Cox a Plea Deal
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 1 month ago on
March 21, 2024

TJ Cox (in mask) exits the Fresno County jail in 2022 with his attorney Mark Coleman. (GV Wire David Taub)

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Nearly 18 months after his arrest for fraud and money laundering, former Congressmember TJ Cox’s case could be coming to a close.

A new federal court document reveals that the U.S. Attorney offered Cox a plea deal, but it does not provide details.

“The defendant received and is considering the government’s plea offer. The parties are in active negotiations on a resolution,” states a motion to continue the case.

Cox’s attorney, Mark Coleman, said they are awaiting more information from the government.

“The parties anticipate that prior to the next status conference date they will request either a change of plea hearing or a trial date,” the filing said.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara McAuliffe delayed a March 27 status conference until May 22. It is the seventh time the case has been continued since Cox pleaded not guilty to 28 counts. But, it is the last time, the judge said.

“The Court will not grant further continuances, absent good cause, which will be narrowly construed, and will set a trial date at the next status conference if the case is not resolved in advance of that status hearing,” McAuliffe wrote in a court filing.

To show she meant business, McAuliffe underlined the above passage. In essence, the judge told Cox to accept a plea deal or go to trial.

Cox served one term in Congress, from 2019 to 2021. He was later arrested by the FBI in 2022 and accused, among other things, of diverting money from his businesses into “off-the-books” bank accounts. Cox is accused of stealing money from clients of his business consulting business. He is also accused of falsifying documents to receive business loans and illegal campaign contributions.

Pot Retailer Advances Out of Planning Commission

A marijuana retailer survived an appeal challenge to opening a shop across the street from the Fresno Fairgrounds.

The city of Fresno Planning Commission denied an appeal and approved conditions for Fresno Farms to open at 4555 E. Kings Canyon Road. City Councilmember Luis Chavez appealed the retailer’s permit, to allow a discussion on the impact of the retailer, and allow for public comment.

This is the proposed second location for Fresno Farms. Their initial application put them across the street from the under-construction Farber Educational Campus on Ventura Avenue. That was too close to a school based on the city code.

Planning commission members were concerned about security during high-traffic events at the fairgrounds. They required Fresno Farms to hire extra security during the weeks of the Big Fresno Fair and Hmong New Year.

The vote was 4-1, with Peter Vang, Brad Hardie Pastor DJ Criner, and Monica Diaz supporting. Kathy Bray opposed. Haley Wagner and Jacqueline Lyday were absent.

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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