Rep. Duncan Hunter’s wife to change plea in campaign spending fraud case

SAN DIEGO — Rep. Duncan Hunter’s spouse, who pleaded not responsible last summer time alongside together with her husband to expenses of using more then $250,000 in campaign funds for their private use, is scheduled to seem in San Diego federal courtroom Thursday for a change of plea listening to.

Hunter, 42, and his spouse Margaret, 44, are accused in a 60-rely indictment of taking cash from campaign coffers as in the event that they have been private bank accounts and falsifying Federal Election Fee marketing campaign finance stories to cowl their tracks.

Each Hunters have been slated to go to trial this fall on expenses that embrace conspiracy, wire fraud and falsification of data, however a federal courtroom calendar exhibits a change of plea listening to is about for Margaret Hunter on Thursday morning. Her lawyer, Thomas McNamara, couldn’t instantly be reached for remark.

The indictment particulars scores of situations starting in 2009 and continuing via 2016, by which the Hunters are accused of illegally using marketing campaign money to pay or such things as household vacations to Italy, Hawaii and Boise, Idaho, faculty tuition, dental work, theater tickets and smaller purchases, including quick meals, tequila photographs, golf outings and video games.

The indictment alleges that at one point, Hunter used campaign cash to fly his pet rabbit to a family vacation.

The Hunters allegedly misreported the expenses on FEC filings, using false descriptions similar to “marketing campaign travel,” “toy drives,” “dinner with volunteers/contributors” and “present cards,” in response to federal prosecutors.

Hunter’s reelection campaign issued a press release last yr condemning the indictment as politically motivated. He later appeared responsible his wife in a television interview, saying she was answerable for the marketing campaign’s finances.

His marketing campaign blasted the timing of the indictment — about two months before the Nov. 6 basic election — saying it “seems to be an effort to derail Congressman Hunter’s re-election” bid.

Voters opted to keep him in office despite the allegations. Hunter was first elected to Congress in 2008, when he gained the seat his father held for 14 terms.

If the congressman is convicted, there isn’t any constitutional provision or Home rule that explicitly requires him to lose his seat, even if he’s sent to jail or unable to vote on behalf of his district.

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