Friday, April 14, 2017

Schocking Indictment

"Aaron Schock, Ex-Illinois Congressman, Is Indicted" by CHRISTINE HAUSER New York Times  November 11, 2016

Aaron Schock, the former representative of Illinois whose taste for first-class travel and a “Downton Abbey”-themed office design led to questions about his judgment and adherence to spending rules, was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on 24 counts, including wire fraud and theft of government funds.

The indictment came after his lawyer, George J. Terwilliger, said in a statement that the charges were expected.

Schock, who resigned his House seat in 2015 amid a government inquiry, said in the statement, “I intend to not only prove these allegations false, but in the process, expose this investigation for what it was.”

He added: “Neither I nor anyone else intentionally did anything wrong. As I have said before, we might have made errors among a few of the thousands and thousands of financial transactions we conducted, but they were honest mistakes — no one intended to break any law.”

A New York Times article last year described his Capitol Hill office as being decorated like a drawing room from “Downton Abbey” and said that with his “buff physique and natty wardrobe,” he had cultivated an image that was more about lifestyle and less about lawmaking.

Ethics questions arose after the Washington Post reported on his opulent office in February 2015, which prompted a government investigation into whether he had improperly accepted pro bono interior design services. Schock personally paid back $40,000 for office renovations.

Schock resigned in March 2015 amid questions about his financial practices, including accusations of spending tens of thousands of dollars from taxpayer-funded accounts on office renovations, using taxpayer and campaign funds on private jets and concerts, and failing to report extravagant gifts on his annual financial disclosure forms.

Other charges include false statements, filing false federal tax returns, falsification of Federal Election Commission filings, and mail fraud.


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