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US Congressman indicted for misuse of campaign funds including $1500 for Steam games

Duncan Hunter.jpg

Congressman Duncan Hunter and his wife Margaret Hunter were indicted on Tuesday of charges relating to the misuse of over $250 000 of the Republican campaign budget. The US Department of Justice is charging them with conspiracy, falsifying records, and the theft of campaign funds, of which includes $1500 spend on the purchasing of Steam games. According to the Duncans, they are the victims of fraud - when it comes to the Steam games part. You can read the full indictment on CNN.

Point ten under the section "Manner and Means of the Conspiracy" states:

"THE HUNTERS concealed and disguised the personal nature of their family's purchase 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 and the public as fraudulent charges."

Point 113 of the same section states:

"On or about March 16, 2015, in Alphine, California the HUNTERS spent $19.99 in Campaign funds at Steam Games to pay for video game charges - one of 82 separate occasions in 2015 that the HUNTERS spent a total of $1528..68 in Campaign funds at Steam Games on video game charges."

The indictment lists 200 incidents where the Hunters misused Campaign funds, most of it are related to entertainment expenses to pay for meals, holidays at Golf resorts, air tickets, and gifts. And video games, lots of video games. Using the current currency rate, it amounts to over R20 000 worth of Steam games in a single year.

That must be a new record.

In 2016, the Federal Election Commission confronted Congressman Hunter about the use of Campaign funds to purchase video games on Steam. Hunter's defence was that his son got hold of the campaign credit card and used it to buy a single game on Steam. The other 68 purchases happened because the account was hacked or some such thing as all those purchases were "unauthorized." That's according to Joe Kasper, a spokesperson for Duncan. Apparently, the Hunters are requesting Steam pays them back, and that there be a formal investigation. Until such time “There won’t be any paying anything back there, pending the outcome of the fraud investigation, depending on how long that takes,” explained Kasper in a statement to The San-Diego Tribunal.

The Hunters openly misused campaign funds and were repeatedly confronted by the Treasurer. At least, they are facing charges, the bill is only $250 000, and their free ride ended after about just one year. South Africa has stories that will make the Hunters' theft look like child's play.

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