Duncan Hunter: Former Republican representative sentenced to prison for misusing campaign funds

His wife pleaded guilty to a corruption charge last year and is due to be sentenced on 7 April

James Crump
Wednesday 18 March 2020 00:08 GMT
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Mr Hunter was sentenced on Tuesday
Mr Hunter was sentenced on Tuesday (Mike Blake Reuters)

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Former Republican representative Duncan Hunter was sentenced to 11 months in prison on Tuesday for misusing campaign funds.

Mr Hunter, who pleaded guilty to the charge in December faced up to five years in prison.

Along with his wife Margaret Hunter, the former representative was accused of stealing more than $250,000 which was spent on diverse items ranging from tuition for their children to an Italian holiday.

Ms Hunter pleaded guilty in June 2019 and agreed to testify against Mr Hunter in any possible trial.

In his plea agreement, Mr Hunter admitted his crime writing that the “object of the conspiracy was for the Hunters to convert campaign funds for their own personal benefit and enjoyment, and for the personal benefit of others with whom they had personal relationships.”

Mr Hunter resigned from his position in January after serving in the 50th district since 2013.

His resignation ended his family's 28 years in the role, as his Dad held the position before him, prior to his run for president in the 2008 election cycle.

Prosecutors also accused Mr Hunter of using the campaign funds in order to have five extra marital affairs.

Prosecutors said evidence about the congressman’s affairs were included in their case to “demonstrate Hunter’s...intent to break the law and to establish his motive to embezzle from his campaign”.

The former congressman’s wife also pleaded guilty to a single corruption charge in a separate plea last year and is scheduled to be sentenced on 7 April.

At the time of his wife’s plea, Mr Hunter said he was still planning on taking the case to trial.

“It’s sad that they were able to bludgeon her into submission. We’ve got some Hillary lawyers there in San Diego. I look forward to going to trial.”

Assistant US Attorney Phil Halpern told reporters after the hearing that he was pleased with the sentence.

“Today’s sentence reinforces the notion that the truth still matters, that facts still matter,” said Mr Halpern.

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