Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton settles long-running fraud charges

FILE PHOTO: Trump rally in Texas

(Reuters) - Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has struck a deal to resolve securities fraud charges brought by state prosecutors nearly a decade ago, his lawyers said on Tuesday.

Paxton, a Republican and ally of former U.S. President Donald Trump, was indicted in July 2015 on charges related to stock sales and compensation from the Texas technology firm Servergy. He also faced charges of acting as a securities agent without registering with the state.

The state will drop the charges in 18 months if Paxton pays restitution to investors and completes community service and legal education, his lawyers said. Paxton will not admit wrongdoing under the deal, they said.

"This case has been pending literally longer than the Beatles were together, it was time to move on," Paxton's lawyer Dan Cogdell said.

The settlement is another win for Paxton, a conservative firebrand who has been dogged by corruption allegations since taking office in 2014. Last fall, he overcame an impeachment attempt spurred on by accusations that he abused his power to protect a wealthy political donor.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had also sued Paxton for promoting Servergy stock without disclosing he was paid to do so. The case was dismissed in 2017, when a judge ruled Paxton was not required to disclose the payments.

Paxton boosted his standing in right-wing circles when, in December 2020, he asked the Supreme Court to throw out results from four states that had cast their votes for Joe Biden in the November election. The court tossed out the case.

(Reporting by Jody Godoy in New York; Editing by Bill Berkrot)