John Rowland Mills, a former policy analyst for the Arizona House of Representatives, was found guilty on nine counts of wire last week before a federal grand jury in Phoenix. The case was tried before United States District Judge James A. Teilborg and the jury came to a final verdict on July 23, 2013.
Evidence provided at the trial showed that Mills, 49, embezzled over $133,000 from House Speaker Jim Weiers’ re-election campaign by forging his signature on checks in a scheme that lasted almost three years. Mills is guilty of using the embezzled funds to make payments on his mortgage and for other personal expenses. The money was used on items such as food, clothing, credit card bills, and various online investments.
To cover the scheme, Mills provided false statements which included the forging signature of Weirs on nine campaign account checks. He also filed six campaign finance reports with the Arizona Secretary of State that falsely overstated the amount of money in the campaign’s bank account. According to federal prosecutors, Mills deposited money back into the campaign account in an attempt to avoid detection just prior to the 2008 election.
Each count of wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, fines up to $250,000, or both. The sentencing hearing has been scheduled for October 8th before Judge James A. Teilborg.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecuting attorney was Frederick A. Battista, Assistant United States Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.
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