The U.S. Attorney's Office reported that U.S. Representative Jeff Fortenberry was found guilty by a federal jury on Thursday for concealing information and making false statements to federal agents who were investigating him for illegal contributions made by a foreign national. Fortenberry represented Nebraska's 1st Congressional District since 2005. He was found guilty of one count of scheming to falsify and conceal material facts and two founds of making false statements to federal investigators.
According to the evidence at his trial, Fortenberry lied and misled federal investigators during two interviews conducted by federal agents who were investigating illegal contributions to his re-election campaign made by a foreign billionaire, Gilbert Chagoury, back in 2016. Specifically, Fortenberry accepted $30,000 from a foreign national using straw donors who attended Fortenberry's campaign fundraiser held in Los Angeles.
A confidential informant cooperated with federal investigators against Fortenberry. The informant and Fortenberry engaged in several phone calls wherein Fortenberry was directly told that his campaign contributions likely came from a foreign national billionaire.
Fortenberry's sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 8, 2022. He faces up to 5 years in federal prison for each count he was convicted for.
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