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Former Democratic Maryland senator pleads guilty in federal corruption case

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Former Maryland state Sen. Nathaniel T. Oaks pleaded guilty on corruption charges after admitting that he accepted over $15,000 in bribes, according to WJZ-TV.

What are the details?

Oaks, a 71-year-old Baltimore Democrat, reportedly accepted the bribes from a man he believed to be a Texas real estate developer and investor. The funds were purportedly provided in exchange for helping receive funding for a housing development project in Baltimore, but as it turned out, the investor was actually an FBI informant.

According to WJZ, Oaks pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud. As a result of his plea, eight other charges — which reportedly include obstruction of justice — were dropped.

Oaks faces sentencing in July and could be sentenced up to 20 years in prison for each count.

In addition to pleading guilty, Oaks also resigned from Maryland state Senate on Thursday. He had served in the Maryland General Assembly for 30 years.

WJZ also reported that in 2016, Oaks sent "fraudulent letters," which were written on official letterhead, in order to obtain federal funding for the man he believed to be a real estate developer and investor.

Later in 2016, Oaks reportedly requested an additional $250,000 in state funds for the project.

(Image source: WJZ-TV video screenshot)

(Image source: WJZ-TV video screenshot)

(Image source: WJZ-TV video screenshot)

Oaks was indicted in 2017.

The Washington Post reported that Oaks also ran into trouble in the 1980s after being convicted of stealing "thousands of dollars" from his campaign account. As a result of the conviction, Oaks lost his seat in the House of Delegates, but later regained it in 1994.

He was appointed to the Maryland state Senate in 2017 as a replacement for a senator who stepped down due to poor health.

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