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Indictment: Schock spent $40K on office; $5K on chandelier

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on charges against former U.S. Rep. Aaron Shock (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

The grand jury indictment against Aaron Schock accuses the former Illinois congressman of spending $ 40,000 in government funds to redecorate his Washington office – including the purchase of a $ 5,000 chandelier.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Springfield, Illinois, announced the 24-count, 52-page indictment on Thursday.

The 35-year-old Republican from Peoria had been under investigation after a spending scandal that included the remodeling of his Capitol Hill office in the style of the television series “Downton Abbey.”

Other allegations include that Schock “fraudulently” asked the House to reimburse him for nearly $ 30,000 worth of camera equipment.

It also says Schock received mileage payments from the House and his campaign committees of nearly $ 140,000 for official and campaign-related travel between 2008 and October 2014. But it says that amounts to reimbursements for 150,000 miles more than his vehicles were actually driven.

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2 p.m.

A federal grand jury has indicted former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock of Illinois on 24 counts including wire fraud, theft of funds.

The 35-year-old Republican from Peoria had been under investigation after a spending scandal that included the elaborate remodeling of his Capitol Hill office in the style of the television series “Downton Abbey.”

Authorities made the announcement Thursday.

Schock had been a rising political star and prodigious fundraiser for the GOP. But he resigned in March 2015 amid intensifying scrutiny over real estate deals, extensive travel that he documented on his social media accounts and other spending documented by The Associated Press and other media outlets. The reports raised questions about improper mileage reimbursements, trips on donors’ aircraft and more.

The former congressman downplayed the allegations in June, saying any wrongdoing was “honest mistakes.”

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12:05 p.m.

Aaron Schock’s defense team says it’s been told that the former Illinois congressman is being indicted by a federal grand jury.

Schock’s attorney, George Terwilliger, calls the expected charges a “misuse” of prosecutorial power by the Justice Department.

Federal prosecutors in Illinois were expected to announce charges later Thursday.

Schock, a 35-year-old Republican from Peoria, had been under investigation after a spending scandal that included the elaborate remodeling of his Capitol Hill office in the style of the television series “Downtown Abbey.” He resigned last year from the House of Representatives.

In a statement obtained by The Associated Press, Schock says he never intentionally did anything wrong and that he’s eager to defend his name and reputation.

He says his case shows that “our government cannot be trusted.”

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

Source: www.washingtontimes.com stories: Politics

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