The full James Dunn/Rick Nolte/CCDF scandal timeline
A living reference tool.
1997 to 2002
James Dunn submits $1.2M in fraudulent billings to the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) [formerly Texas Rehabilitation Services TRC)], according to a Victim Impact statement from the agency. Dunn was ultimately held accountable for $335,000 for the purpose of his sentencing.
October 9, 2003
Dunn files bankruptcy for the first time.
June 15, 2004
First bankruptcy dismissed.
July 2, 2004
Second bankruptcy filed.
Dec. 16, 2004
Second bankruptcy dismissed
February 3, 2006
Third bankruptcy filed.
July 31, 2006
Fourth bankruptcy filed.
Nov. 14, 2006
Fourth bankruptcy dismissed.
Dec. 18, 2006
Third bankruptcy “closed.”
Feb. 28, 2007
Fifth bankruptcy filed.
April 3, 2007
Fifth bankruptcy dismissed.
May 31, 2007
Dunn charged in 55-count indictment with “submitting fraudulent claims against the government.”
July 2, 2007
Sixth bankruptcy filed.
Oct. 2, 2007
Sixth bankruptcy dismissed.
December 28, 2007
Dunn files again for bankruptcy protection under chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code “without schedules, statements, lists, or a plan,” according to subsequent U.S. government filing. He failed to disclose “all prior filings.”
Jan. 8, 2008
The federal government asks to dismiss the latest bankruptcy filing and bar all future filings without “leave of the court.”
August 12, 2008
Dunn pleads guilty to count 42 of the 2007 indictment.
January 7, 2009
After pleading guilty to 2007 indictment, Dunn commits a new fraud with his Houston-based non-profit Lamp Stand Institute (LSI), which was part of Kingdom Building Fellowship Church in Houston. He created a false HUD Notice of Grant Award letter, using the HUD seal, falsely claiming LSI had received a $1.9M grant to provide housing assistance for eligible veterans. He used the fake letter to “obtain money and property from individuals in the Houston area,” according to the indictment.
August 12, 2009
At Dunn’s first sentencing hearing for the first case, the court declines request for enhanced penalties for “abuse of position of trust” — but grants government a continuance to submit factors that would warrant a departure. The recommended sentencing range without enhancement is 18 to 24 months.
Sept. 1, 2009
Government files powerful impact statement report signed by Quincy L. Ollison, Assistant US Attorney acting on behalf of US Attorney Tim Johnson. Claims Dunn lied at a pre-sentencing hearing.
Sept. 3, 2009
Dunn pleads guilty to false claims against the government. Sentenced to 33 months — rather than 18-24 — in prison and three years supervised release by Judge Lee H. Rosenthal, who grants the enhanced sentence.
Nov. 3, 2009
Date by which Dunn is ordered to report to El Reno federal prison in El Reno, Ok, to begin serving 33 month sentence.
Jan. 28, 2010
Dunn indicted for his HUD-related fraud. Quincy Ollison handles this case, too.
Oct. 29, 2010
Dunn pleads guilty to one count of fraudulent use of the seal or any department or agency of the United States for the HUD fraud. Sentenced to 27 months in prison, to run consecutive with the earlier fraud conviction, by Judge Sim Lake.
July 18, 2012
Latishe Curley divorces James Dunn.
April 9, 2013
Dunn says in court filing requesting early prison release that he has a full-time job awaiting him with the Exxon Mobile corporation.
April 15, 2013
Ollison argues against any change to Dunn’s sentence, saying:
5. Lastly, defendant claims that he has achieved “exemplary post sentencing
rehabilitation.” However, it is clear to this AUSA that defendant has not been
rehabilitated in the least; rather, he is up to his old behavior of devising every
common scheme or device he can to minimize the punishment he was given based
upon the seriously fraudulent conduct he committed against our country’s Veterans
and the mentally challenged.
January 29, 2014
Brazoria County Alternative Academy incorporated. Dunn becomes officer at undetermined date. Today, directors are: Dunn, Cecelia White, and Lemarc Holcombe.
March 10, 2014
Dunn’s “term of supervised release” begins for both cases, which suggests he was released from prison on this day after serving about 54 months (4.5 years) in federal prison.
July 22, 2014
Latishe Curley objects to garnishment of her wages on grounds that she and Dunn are not married.
July 23, 2015
Renfro Executive Group Management LLC formed. Will later receive $23,716 PPP loan in 2020. Dunn, Joe C. Adams, and Raefel Adams are listed as “inactive directos/officers’ today.
October 14, 2016
Unopposed motion for early termination of supervised release in second case; cites “windfall” since initial inability to make money. Claims to have paid restitution in full for second case and that better prospects would allow him to pay off first case restitution faster.
It’s unclear why Ollison/US Attorney’s Office did not oppose this motion.
October 26, 2016
2D Development, LLC incorporated — Dunn, White, and Holcombe are listed as officers today. Simon Hendershot is the agent.
As managing director of Brazoria County Alternative Academy (BCAA), James Dunn announces a $30M project in Orange County, Texas. From a later article called: “What multi-service center?” The project is supposed to be a partnership with something called Scarborough Industries, with a contact named Mike White.
Almost two years ago, Dr. James Dunn, executive managing director for the Brazoria County Alternative Academy (BCAA), announced a $30 million project in Orange County.
“In thirty days, we will have the Orange County small business incubator program and the technology center running at our Western Avenue location,” said Dunn in January 2017.
BCAA has purchased two schools buildings in West Orange for a project, which began as an Early Development Center and has grown to become more according to a press release. West Orange Cove Consolidated School District confirmed the two buildings were sold in 2016.
At the time, Mike White, of Scarborough Industries, Inc., said they hoped to have the preliminary architectural plans for the nursing facility and to start construction in 90 days.
Dunn, according to a previously published Orange Leader article, planned to develop a skilled nursing home training facility, twenty side-by-side duplexes for independent senior living, housing for Lamar State College – Orange students and apartments for homeless veterans.
The buildings have remained inactive since.
Dec. 19, 2018
The “Orange Leader” publishes its story about the failure/disappearance of the BCAA/Scarborough project. Notes this about BCAA:
A search for property owner shows the properties, 900 Newton and 2000 Western, are both owned 100-percent by a bank at this time.
West Orange Code Enforcer Dean Fuller said the bank has not told him their intentions at this time.
“They are weighing their options to sell as is or to demo it,” Fuller said. “They have owned it for a couple of months.”
BCAA’s official website is currently selling Hurricane Harvey Victims Hygiene Kits for evacuees in Brazoria, Matagorda, Harris, Jefferson and Orange Counties in Texas.
“HURRICANE HARVEY VICTIMS HYGIENE KITS
Brazoria County is seeking SPONSORS to PURCHASE these KITS for the VICTIMS in BRAZORIA, JEFFERSON and ORANGE COUNTIES in TEXAS. All purchases are TAX DEDUCTIBLE. BCAA will then issue those KITS to the VICTIMS.”
However, the multifaceted company, according to the website, is here to assist by providing a wide range of employment services.
“BCAA currently provides services to qualified individuals throughout Brazoria County, Texas as well as Harris County, Matagorda County, Galveston County, Waller County, Fort Bend County, Austin County, Montgomery County, Wharton County and Jefferson County. BCAA is also actively expanding its services in other counties in Texas,” according to the website.
Calls to the number were not returned.
April 17, 2019
The Community Temple Church of God In Christ in Houston enters into a contract with James Dunn to “facilitate” a $5 million grant for “construction or non-construction services.” The church paid Dunn $13,000 while never receiving any services.
November 27, 2019
Gulf Coast Community Action Agency Inc. is incorporated. James Dunn is listed as agent and director today. Other directors are Jackie Hall and Tashea Shorter. GCCAA will receive a $37,500 PPP loan in 2021.
December 12, 2019
Community Temple sends a letter to James Dunn in his capacity as “executive managing director” of “Brazoria County Alternative Academy Inc.” You can see the full letter at the end of this article. It demanded that Dunn produce evidence he had done any work. And it noted the church’s consultation with Harris County, Texas prosecutors:
…evidence substantiating your claim of our approval of a grant in the amount of $981,000 and for you to produce signed contract(s), appraisals, contractor bids and other documentation that we have paid for to the time of nearly $13,000…
…Further, all text messages and emails from you related to this matter will be forwarded to the Harris County DA that has recommended to us that this letter of demand [be] written.
April 29, 2020
Community Temple Church sues two of Dunn’s companies — “Brazoria County Alternative Academy Inc.” and “2D Development LLC” — to recover damages for the money it spent on the grant contract.
April 30, 2020
Literally the day after Community Temple filed suit against Dunn’s 2D Development LLC, the federal government approves a $61,242 emergency PPP loan for 2D Development LLC,” which is said to provide “vocational rehabilitation services.”
It is unclear why Dunn did not use 2D Development’s $61,242 PPP loan to pay help back the $13,000 he owed the church.
May 1, 2020
Literally two days after Community Temple filed suit, the federal government approved a $125,000 PPP loan to James Dunn’s “sole proprietorship.”
It is unclear why Dunn did not use the $125,000 to help pay back the $13,000 owed to Community Temple.
Also on May 1, 2020
Literally two days after Community Temple filed suit, the federal government approved a $23,716 PPP loan for Renfro Management in Pearland, Texas, which is also in Brazoria County. Dunn is listed as Renfro’s agent and manager. Wells Fargo serviced the loan. This is the third different bank Dunn’s companies have used to service the three different loans.
Let me restate this: James Dunn and his companies enjoyed a two-day federal government windfall of almost $212,000 in free PPP money. And he did not use any of it to pay off the $13,000 he owed the church that had just sued him for grifting them. Dunn failed to pay his debt to the church despite the fact that he is a convicted fraud felon, who had been notified in writing by the church that they had reported him to Harris County prosecutors.
Let that marinate for a second. And then ask yourself: is this sheer psychotic self-destructiveness; or did Dunn, with reason, expect total impunity from the bounds of decent society? As much as it pains me to say it, the evidence right now points to impunity. I’m trying to change that.
Federal authorities, and state authorities in Florida and Texas, need to start protecting the public from this person immediately. Period.
Between May 4 and June 1, 2020
Dunn is removed as agent for Renfro. He is added back between 3/1/21 and 4/30/21 the next year. It’s unclear if that is related to the Renfro PPP loan.
May 27, 2020
Black Republicans of Brazoria County incorporated. James Dunn is “agent” and appears to be only person named as corporate official. BRBC will receive a $62,500 PPP loan.
Feb. 20, 2021
The federal government approves a PPP loan for another Dunn company, “Gulf Coast Community Action Agency Inc.,” for $37,500. This loan is serviced by Regions Bank, which is the fourth different bank his companies have used for his four PPP loans. But he’ll go back to Regions Bank a couple months later for two more.
April 30, 2021
The federal government approves a $62,500 PPP loan for Dunn’s “Brazoria County Alternative Academy,” the exact same company Community Temple sued.
It is unclear why BCAA did not use the $62,500 in free federal government money to pay the church the debt it owed.
Also on April 30, 2021
The federal government approves a $62,500 PPP loan for Dunn’s “Black Republicans of Brazoria County” to supposedly support six jobs. However, BRBC is a “charity” that files the 990-N electronic form with the IRS. It is capped, by law, at $50,000 in annual revenue. The only known source of income for BRBC, at this point, is a $15,750 donation from Texas state Rep. David Mayes Middleton, R-Galveston County in January of 2022. See article here.
August 11, 2021
The Community Temple Church case goes to trial before Judge Kyle Carter. Bishop Thompson told me the church did not know Dunn was a convicted felon when it entered into the “grant” agreement with him, but did learn in time to ask about it at trial. Dunn repeatedly refused to answer yes or no when asked under oath if he’d ever been convicted of defrauding the federal government.
August 17, 2021
Judge Carter finds for the church and issues a $21,293 judgement in the church’s favor. Carter imposed court costs and attorney fees on Dunn’s companies.
September 8, 2021
Brittany Loyd Dunn files for divorce from James Dunn in Los Angeles.
Sept. 10, 2021
Dunn appeals Judge Carter’s verdict and order. But he seems to have never actually attempted to pursue the appeal in litigation.
Dec. 7, 2021
The First District Court of Appeals in Texas throws out Dunn’s companies’ appeals, citing failure to “adequately respond.”
Dec. 11, 2021
Kendall Baker wins his Houston ISD election, with Dunn as campaign treasurer and Dunn’s 2D Development as his campaign consultant.
Dec. 15, 2021
Rep. David “Mayes" Middleton donates $5,000 to January 6th attendee Julie Pickren for her Texas Board of Education campaign.
Dec. 31, 2021
Baker’s campaign, of which Dunn is treasurer, pays Dunn’s “2D Development LLC” $2,000 for “consultant reimbursement.”
January 2, 2022
As Dunn defies a court order to pay back the church he defrauded, Texas GOP state Rep. David Mayes Middleton donates $15,000 to Black Republicans of Brazoria County.
Jan. 20, 2022
Mayes Middleton, fresh off his “Black Republicans” contribution, becomes Kendall Baker’s biggest campaign donor for 2022 with a $2,000 contribution.
January 27, 2022
Middleton donates $500 to Black Republicans of Brazoria County. These are the only known sources of revenue for Black Republicans of Brazoria County before or after it received the $62,500 PPP loan.
February 19, 2022
James Dunn attends the Brazoria County Republican Party’s “Lincoln Reagan Day” dinner. It’s $75 per person, $100 for VIP.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is the keynote speaker and posed with Dunn for this picture.
February 22, 2022
February 25, 2022
The Texas Appeals Court issues a “mandate” that “commands” Dunn to obey their order.
According to Bishop Thompson, Dunn continues to openly defy the court order as of today, July 16, 2022.
February 28, 2022
Rick Nolte campaign pays “Team Hammer” $481.50 for “T-shirts for campaign.” That seems completely normal and legitimate.
March 10, 2022
Nolte lends/contributes (it’s confusing) his campaign $5,200 in cash, which appears to be a felony. See article here.
March 24, 2022
The Nolte campaign pays Summit Printing of Kansas City $2,171.71 for “signs.” It’s unclear if that price includes shipping. But shipping your signs 1,200 miles from Missouri to Florida seems wildly expensive and inefficient.
March 27, 2022
Nolte campaign pays Team Hammer another $395 for “T-shirts.” Again, that’s a very reasonable campaign shirt expenditure, with a real vendor.
April 20, 2022
Nolte campaign pays Lakeland’s Dixie Signs $829.25 for “road signs.” The difference between the Dixie “road signs” and the Summit “signs” is not clear to me.
April 21, 2022
The Houston Chronicle (paywall) and Houston NPR publish stories about James Dunn’s campaign client David Hamilton, who was running for a seat on the Houston-area Fort Bend ISD School Board. Hamilton
David Hamilton, who is running for Fort Bend ISD School Board Position 7, posted multiple tweets accusing Democrats of trying to “sexualize kindergarteners” because of opposition to a Florida bill prohibiting some schools from teaching sexual orientation and gender identity.
One of the tweets included the so-called “bed intruder” meme, which features a Black man being interviewed by a television anchor after a home invasion. The meme sparked a debate over race in media after going viral in 2010. The tweet has since been deleted.
April 26, 2002
Nolte campaign pays Summit Printing in Kansas City, MO another $1,012 for “marketing.” It’s not clear what specific service or product “marketing” refers to.
May 3, 2002
Cindy Cofrancesco contributes $500 to Jill Sessions in Polk County, Florida.
May 7, 2022
James Dunn client David Hamilton wins his campaign for “trustee” of the Fort Bend Independent School District narrowly.
May 26, 2022
The Nolte campaign declares a loan payback of $5,200 to Rick Nolte, which is the exact amount of the illegal cash “contribution” from March.
June 5, 2022
The Nolte campaign pays Summit, the Kansas City company, $2,718.67 for “shirts.” Summit does not advertise shirts on its web page or sell them at all, according to the voicemail I received when I inquired. I shared that with you above.
June 6, 2022
The day after Nolte’s “shirts” payment to a company that doesn’t sell shirts, Jill Sessions’ campaign, one of three in a CCDF slate that includes Nolte, pays $7,500 to James Dunn — the convicted criminal, church-cheating, 6-PPP loan collecting campaign manager that the CCDF recruited from Texas to help its candidates.
June 7, 2022
The Terry Clark campaign, the third member of the CCDF slate, pays James Dunn $750. More would come soon.
Dunn posts picture with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and tagline “Black Republicans of Brazoria County.”
June 13, 2022
James Dunn forms Florida political committee called “Gulf Coast Community Action Agency - Protecting Our Kids.”
The PAC’s stated purpose was “assisting conservative school board candidates” in Florida. It named five specific candidates in two counties:
Polk: Rick Nolte, Jill Sessions, Terry Clark, and Justin Sharpless
Miami-Dade: Sandra Manzieri
Its address is 66 West Flagler Street, Suite #900 in Miami.
June 16, 2022
The CCDF holds a podcast with James Dunn they title: “There’s no room for second place….How Conservatives Win School Board Races by Dr. Dunn”
See/listen to the podcast here if you can stomach it.
To my knowledge, the CCDF has not yet held a podcast titled: “How Conservatives Grift Churches and Defy Court Orders in the Name of Freedom.”
June 22, 2022
The Terry Clark campaign pays Dunn $6750, which matches the $7500 total for Sessions.
June 24, 2022
Dunn organizes and promotes a “Meet and Greet” with the CCDF’s unofficial slate of Polk County, Florida School Board candidates — Jill Sessions, Rick Nolte, and Terry Clark.
Justin Sharpless does not attend — and he has made efforts to distance himself from the CCDF slate, even though the CCDF-universe considers him part of the slate.
June 28, 2022
Edward Cofrancesco, owner of Orlando-based investment firm International Assets Advisory, donates $4,000 to Dunn’s GCCA-POA PAC. It is the only contribution the PAC receives. There is no record that the PAC actually spent the money.
June 29, 2022
I write my first article about James Dunn’s criminal background. Dunn becomes an important campaign issue. Both CCDF candidates who openly hire him will go on to lose.
June 30, 2022
The Nolte Campaign pays “Legion Marketing” of Lakeland $1,664 for more “shirts.” “Legion Marketing” does not appear to exist. Its PO Box 6627 is owned by “Ligon Marketing” and Cora Ligon. Perhaps Nolte cannot spell? Ligon Marketing also has an address at 4404 South Florida Avenue.
That is the same address the CCDF gives to people who want to buy and pick up its merchandise — including shirts. So, to recap: “Legion” doesn’t exist; but “Ligon” does. It owns the “Legion” PO Box and is closely tied to the CCDF. It seems to be a vendor, unlike Summit, that actually sells shirts. Someone should see if “Ligon” produced any campaign shirts for Nolte.
At this point, at the end of June, if you add up all money the Nolte campaign spent on Summit and Legion/Ligon dating to 3/24, it comes to exactly: $7,567.39. Sessions and Clark, in June, both paid Dunn exactly $7,500.
Neither of other two CCDF candidates used Summit or Legion or Ligon for anything. In fact, as I scroll through their expenditures, I don’t see anything — other than the $7500 for their criminal campaign manager — that seems unusual or noteworthy in Sessions or Clark’s reports.
Open campaign finance weirdness is a Rick Nolte-specific issue.
July 1, 2022
The Ledger reports on a criminal, anonymous text campaign against outstanding incumbent School Board Member Lisa Miller. The texts invent and spread lies about her and her husband. Miller is running against Dunn’s client Jill Sessions and Dell Quary.
The Polk State Attorney’ Office is supposedly investigating the illegal texts against Lisa. I have my doubts.
July 8, 2022
A week after The Ledger article about illegal, lying texts, Terry Clark sends a message to his supporters praising the criminal church-cheater James Dunn and declaring flatly: “Jill Sessions and Rick Nolte are also using him.” The email adds: “[Dunn] has already had 20 thousand plus texts sent out all over the county.”
July 12, 2022
When I text Dunn, his phone number claims to be the wife who is divorcing him. “This is actually his wife. Please do not call my phone. Brittany Dunn.”
July 14, 2022
After news of Dunn’s criminality and grifting starts to break, the CCDF issues a long statement of support. Partial image above. As noted before, the CCDF calls Dunn a “wonderful example” to the “minority community.”
We believe that this sets a wonderful example for the minority community of redemption and success coming out of our correctional system. We consider this to be the ideal goal for our correctional institutions, to bring correction and transformation. There are no ongoing investigations, charges, or criminal lawsuits. The case is closed, and the outcome of his life is what we would consider to be a best-case scenario.
July 19, 2022
The Nolte campaign pays Dixie Signs of Lakeland $513 specifically for “10 4 x 8 signs.” As with the April 20 payment for “road signs,” the Nolte campaign is far more specific in documenting its payments for signs to Dixie Signs than it is to Summit.
The Nolte campaign pays Summit of Kansas City $1,425.07 for “signs”. That’s a total of $7,328.14 paid to Summit, in Kansas City, Missouri, for one-word descriptors — “signs,” “shirts,” and “marketing” combined.
Gov. Ron DeSantis endorses Nolte. (I think the 12th is when I learned about it — may be off a day or two.) DeSantis didn’t do much for Nolte — never said Nolte’s name in a live setting. But Nolte used the endorsement on texts, etc. There’s no indication the DeSantis endorsement moved any election needle in the election. Generic partisanship + Dunn seem to be the core determining factors based on close analysis of the data.
August 12, 2022
The Nolte campaign receives the first of 10 illegal cash contributions of $100 between 8/12 and 8/16. Each one is a misdemeanor. Nolte later says in a letter to Supervisor of Elections Lori Edwards:
I did not realize that the cash maximum contribution to my campaign was $50 cash per person. I thought it was $100. After reporting the 10 $100 donations it was brought to my attention. I have now, since realizing this mistake returned $50 cash to each of the 10 donors. Please accept my apologies for this mistake and let me know if there is anything further, I should do to correct my error.
August 16, 2022
The Nolte campaign receives $1,000 contribution from a PAC called “Education for All” largely funded by the Sugar industry. That same PAC funded some gross mailers for Nolte.
August 18, 2022
The Nolte campaign pays Dixie Signs in Lakeland $1,471 for non-specific “signs.” It is unclear why the Nolte campaign uses two different sign vendors — one in Lakeland and one in Kansas City, Missouri less than three weeks apart.
August 23, 2022
Nolte narrowly defeats incumbent School Board Member Sarah Fortney in what is overall a terrible GOP performance in School Board races. Clark and Sessions, the CCDF crank candidates who used Dunn openly, both lose to incumbent board members. But Sessions does make the runoff with Lisa Miller.
August 24, 2022
I point out that Nolte has reported 10 misdemeanors and a felony on his campaign contributions.
Also August 24, 2022
Dunn’s estranged wife Brittany claims in divorce filing that Dunn makes roughly $20,000 per month.
August 26, 2022
Nolte sends this note to Supervisor of Elections Lori Edwards acknowledging his 10 misdemeanor cash contributions.
August 29, 2022
I mail a formal campaign complaint to the Florida Elections Commission about Nolte’s illegal contributions.