Duncan Hunter Sentenced to 11 Months in Prison for Stealing Campaign Funds

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Former Consultant Duncan D. Hunter of California was sentenced to 11 months in federal prison on Tuesday for funneling extra than $150,000 from his marketing campaign coffers to spend for a lavish lifestyle that prosecutors claimed included vacations, non-public faculty tuition and even airline vacation expenses for pet rabbits.

The punishment, handed down by Judge Thomas J. Whelan in U.S. District Court in San Diego, capped a precipitous downfall for Mr. Hunter, 43, a Republican who was initial elected to Congress in 2008 and had served in the Maritime Corps in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In an arrangement with prosecutors, Mr. Hunter, who was ordered to report to prison by late Might, pleaded responsible in December to conspiracy to steal marketing campaign money. A single thirty day period later, he resigned from his seat in Congress representing a conservative district in San Diego County.

“Unfortunately in our country, far too a lot of men and women have appear to embrace the notion that the men and women who compose the legislation experience they are earlier mentioned the laws,” Phillip Halpern, an assistant U.S. lawyer, mentioned Tuesday in a news convention immediately after Mr. Hunter’s sentencing.

Mr. Hunter’s lawyers had requested for most of his sentence to be served under residence confinement, contending that he had served his country admirably in the Marines immediately after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He faced up to five yrs in prison as section of the plea offer.

Devin Burstein, a law firm for Mr. Hunter, reported in an e mail on Tuesday that the sentence mirrored Mr. Hunter’s services and commitment to the region.

“The court docket saw this situation for what it was,” Mr. Burstein reported. “Far from the assault on democracy the authorities claimed, this was simply just about misspending. There was no fraud, bribery or theft of taxpayer revenue. Much less than a 12 months is uncommon for a felony of this mother nature, and closer to a misdemeanor sentence.”

Mr. Hunter succeeded his father, Duncan L. Hunter, a 14-phrase congressman who ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.

The elder Mr. Hunter criticized the sentence through a information meeting outside the courthouse and mentioned that two of the prosecutors involved in the situation experienced attended a fund-increasing function for Hillary Clinton in 2015.

“This was a political hit task,” Mr. Hunter mentioned.

Prosecutors said that the young Mr. Hunter and his spouse, Margaret Hunter, were deeply in debt when they misappropriated the marketing campaign funds for their private use.

Mrs. Hunter also pleaded guilty to a corruption demand. She is scheduled to be sentenced in April.

Prosecutors had also reported that Mr. Hunter experienced dipped into his marketing campaign coffers to help pay for bills that he incurred although carrying on quite a few affairs, like one particular with a workers member.

Even soon after Mr. Hunter was indicted, he won re-election in 2018. So did previous Consultant Chris Collins of New York, a fellow Republican who pleaded responsible final fall to insider trading. In January, Mr. Collins was sentenced to 26 months in prison.

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