Former Campaign Worker And Policy Analyst For The Arizona House Of Representatives Found Guilty Of Wire Fraud
PHOENIX – John Rowland Mills, 49, of Glendale, Ariz., a former policy analyst for the Arizona House of Representatives, was found guilty of nine counts of wire fraud by a federal jury in Phoenix. The case was tried before U.S. District Judge James A. Teilborg from July 9 through July 23, 2013. Sentencing is set before Judge Teilborgon Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013.
“The theft and misuse of approximately $133,000 of campaign funds, consisting primarily of contributions from individuals, is a serious offense. My office stands ready to assist the people of Arizona in guaranteeing that campaign workers are not tempted to steal or misuse such funds in the future,” said John S. Leonardo, U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Douglas G. Price, Phoenix Division, stated “Whenever an individual utilizes their position to defraud the public for their own personal gain by taking campaign contributions it tarnishes our political process. John Rowland Mills’ actions were fostered by greed. The voice of justice has spoken with a jury of his peers holding him accountable for defrauding the public. The FBI and the United States Attorney’s Office are committed to investigating and prosecuting those who choose to line their pockets with public funds.”
The evidence at trial showed that from December 2006 through January 2009, Mills embezzled approximately $133,000 from the James P. Weiers 2008 campaign account (which consisted primarily of contributions from individuals) and used the embezzled funds to make mortgage payments, to pay for personal items such as clothing, food, and credit card bills, and to make various investments, including investments via multiple E*Trade accounts. Mills also made a variety of false statements in an attempt to avoid detection, including forging the candidate’s signature on nine campaign account checks and filing six campaign finance reports with the Arizona Secretary of State that falsely overstated the amount of money in the campaign account. Finally, just before the 2008 election, Mills deposited money back into the campaign account in an attempt to avoid detection.
Each conviction for wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years, a maximum fine of $250,000, or both.
The investigation in this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution was handled by Frederick A. Battista, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.
CASE NUMBER: CR-12-1660-PHX-JAT (LOA)
RELEASE NUMBER: 2013-059_Mills
For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/az