Former Harris County Republican Party Chairman Jared Woodfill is being investigated on theft and money laundering allegations, accused of misappropriating funds of at least two of his law firm’s clients, according to an affidavit by the Harris County District Attorney’s office.
Authorities on Monday seized 127 boxes of files, six computers and disk drives from the Houston high-rise office of the Woodfill Law Firm at Three Riverway, according to the returned search warrant filed in Harris County district court on Tuesday.
In his affidavit for the search warrant, which also targeted computer logins, passwords, memory devices, and telephones owned by Woodfill or the law firm, fraud examiner Bryan Vaclavik indicated authorities were seeking evidence used to commit felony offenses of misapplication of fiduciary property, theft and money laundering.
No charges have been filed against anyone in connection with the ongoing investigation. The Harris County District Attorney’s office declined comment on the investigation.
Investigators seized financial records, legal files, documents and correspondence on Monday related to two divorce cases handled by the firm, the search warrant documents show.
The ongoing investigation has nothing to do with Woodfill’s party activities, his attorney Jimmy Ardoin told the Houston Chronicle Tuesday.
Woodfill was chairman of the county Republican Party for 12 years, before losing the post in 2014.
Ardoin said his client had no advance notice of the search and had no details about the allegations beyond the content of the search warrant.
Ardoin said he had been in contact with the district attorney’s office about its review of finances in a divorce case for three to four months and was dismayed that Woodfill was not allowed to provide information voluntarily.
“We believe there’s an accusation of misappropriation of client funds,” Ardoin said. “We have yet to get confirmation of what it is.”
See here for the background. I’m going to try to not get ahead of the facts, and to wait patiently for things to happen in this case – remember, as the story says, no charges have been filed as yet against anyone. But as I think about who Jared Woodfill is, boy will it be tough to do that.