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Ex-Rep. Duncan Hunter sentenced to 11 months in prison

Ex-Rep. Duncan Hunter sentenced to 11 months in prison
Former Rep. Duncan Hunter must surrender to begin serving his sentence May 29.. File Photo courtesy of Congress

March 17 (UPI) -- A federal judge in California sentenced former Rep. Duncan Hunter to 11 months in prison Tuesday for misusing campaign funds.

District Court Judge Thomas Whelan ordered Hunter, who resigned from Congress in January, to surrender May 29 to begin his sentence. Prosecutors asked for a 14-month sentence, but he was eligible for five years of incarceration.

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Duncan Hunter served six terms in Congress representing California's 50th Congressional District, which comprises parts of San Diego and Riverside counties.

He pleaded guilty to the charges in December.

Both Duncan Hunter and his wife, Margaret Hunter, originally pleaded not guilty to the 60-count federal indictment alleging they used more than $250,000 of his campaign re-election funds for personal expenses such as video games, private school tuition, oral surgery and utilities between 2009 and 2016.

In order to mask the spending the couple listed expenditures as charity donations, including filing dental bills as a charitable contribution to "Smiles for Life" and tickets to see Riverdance at the San Diego Civic Theater as a donation to "San Diego Civic Center for Republican Women Federated/Fundraising."

The Hunters began reimbursing the campaign in 2010 and by November 2017 had repaid more than $60,000 for what his campaign described as "personal, mistaken and insufficiently documented expenditures."

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In June, Margaret Hunter changed her plea, pleading guilty to a single count of conspiracy. She is scheduled to be sentenced April 7.

Before changing his plea, Duncan Hunter repeatedly denied the charges, describing the case as a "witch hunt."

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