Bloomberg Law
Sept. 18, 2020, 1:56 PM

Texas Judge Who Used Campaign Funds on Prada Bag Pleads Guilty

Melissa Heelan Stanzione
Melissa Heelan Stanzione

A suspended Texas judge who was indicted last year on wire fraud charges for spending more than $20,000 in campaign funds on personal expenses pleaded guilty on Thursday to one count of wire fraud.

The maximum penalty for the crime is 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.

The plea agreement says that Alexandra Smoots-Thomas, who served as a judge in Harris County, Texas, from 2009 until last summer, “stole” campaign funds to buy a Prada handbag in Las Vegas; make mortgage payments; and pay for private school tuition for her children.

She admitted in a 2018 ...