A US Congressman and his wife have been indicted on charges of wire fraud, falsifying records and violating campaign finance laws after using campaign funds to spend $1,528.68 on Steam games.
The Steam game purchases were among a total of $250,000 in personal spending on campaign funds by Representative Duncan Hunter and his wife Margaret, according to federal prosecutors.
In addition to Steam games - unfortunately, the prosecution doesn't identify the games that were purchased - the prosecution claims that the Hunters lavished campaign funds on dental work, holidays, clothes, food and drink.
Margaret Hunter first admitted to investigators in 2015 that the spending on Steam games was personal and put on the campaign credit card by mistake, according to ArsTechnica, but a year later she changed her story, claiming that the credit card charges for Steam games were ‘fraudulent' and received $1,302 back from the bank.
"The Hunters concealed and disguised the personal nature of their family's purchases of video games using campaign funds by falsely claiming to a financial institution that the payments were fraudulent charges and then reporting the purchases to the FEC [Federal Election Commission] and the public as fraudulent charges," the indictment claims.
Indeed, the indictment lists a whole series of purchases made using campaign funds that were deliberately mis-described in returns to the FEC.
The indictment also suggests that Duncan Hunter arranged meetings during vacations to try and disguise the alleged embezzlement.
For example, to cover-up a family holiday to Italy, paid for with campaign funds, Hunter reportedly attempted to arrange a last-minute tour of a naval base to justify the trip. Other purchases were falsely described as "campaign related" in their returns to the FEC.
Much of the spending relates to 2010 and 2011 and Hunter, a Republican who has represented various counties in California, is only now being indicted.
A supporter of unrestricted gun ownership and an early supporter of President Donald Trump, he reportedly claimed of Trump: "... He's an asshole, but he's our asshole." [Link only available outside EU or via Tor]
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