Once he was Chair of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Marine Transportation and the recipient of multiple marine industry awards, including being honored as a Champion of Maritime by the American Maritime Partnership in 2015 and receiving the Shipbuilders Council of America’s Maritime Leadership Award in 2017.
Then, in August 2018, following an indictment by the Department of Justice on a series of counts ranging from conspiracy to violation of campaign finance laws, Rep. Duncan Hunter was suspended from his committee assignments, including chairmanship of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation panel and his seat on the House Armed Services’ Subcommitee on Seapower and Projection Forces.
Yesterday, Hunter was sentenced to 11 months in prison for his admitted role in what the Department of Justice describes “as a years-long conspiracy to knowingly and willfully steal $250,000 in campaign funds that he and his wife used to maintain their lifestyle when their family was otherwise drowning in debt.”
U.S. District Judge Thomas J. Whelan handed down the sentence and ordered Hunter to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons by May 29 at noon. The judge refused the defendant’s request to impose a sentence where Hunter would have served part or all of his sentence in home confinement, explaining that “the number of years and the amount of transactions” made such sentence inappropriate because this wasn’t a single act of theft but a crime committed repeatedly over almost a decade.
According to the Department of Justice, court filings show that, both Hunter and his wife, Margaret, who also pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 7, used hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign funds as their personal piggy bank from 2010 through 2016.
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