Ex-Illinois congressman pleads not guilty
to spending scandal
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[December 13, 2016]
(Reuters) - A former U.S.
representative whose lavish Washington office raised questions about use
of taxpayer money pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges of defrauding
the federal government and campaign committees, then trying to cover it
Aaron Schock, a 35-year-old former Republican congressman from Illinois,
was indicted in November by the U.S. Department of Justice on 24 counts,
including wire fraud, theft of government funds and filing false federal
income tax returns. He entered his plea in a federal court in
"I look forward to the truth and all the facts coming out in this case.
I have complete faith in my legal team, the good people of this
community, and that justice will ultimately prevail," Schock said in an
Schock, elected to the, U.S. House of Representatives in 2008 at the age
of 27, gained a following by posting flashy photos on social media of
himself traveling around the world.
But he was hounded with questions after The Washington Post reported
last year about lavish decorations in his Capitol Hill office based on
the PBS period melodrama "Downton Abbey."
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The office of Representative Aaron Schock (R-IL) is seen on Capitol
Hill in Washington March 17, 2015. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
Although staff told the Post that the interior design work had been
done for free, the story prompted more investigations into Schock's
spending habits, with several media outlets reporting he failed to
disclose some expenditures and had to repay others after improperly
using taxpayer funds.
(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Jonathan
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