Ex-Rep. Schock: 'I Am Eager to Finally Defend My Name'
The U.S. Attorney’s office Thurs. indicted ex-Illinois congressman Aaron Schock on 24 counts of alleged fraud.
The former18thDistrict Congressman resigned in March 2015, amid allegations of financial mismanagement.
He held a press conference with his attorneys in Peoria, about an hour before the indictment was released. Schock claims no wrongdoing. He says the Justice Department "manufactured a crime."
“I intend to not only fight to prove these allegations false, but in the process, expose this investigation for what it was," Schock said. "Neither I, nor anyone, intentionally did anything wrong.”
Schock’s defense team is calling the anticipated filing "politically motivated" but did not clarify what that meant. It comes two days after a presidential election that will send a Republican to the White House.
U.S. Attorney Jim Lewis, a Democratic appointee is retiring at the end of the year.
The DOJ says in a news release Schock allegedly generated income to himself that cost the federal government more than $100,000.
Schock’s defense team is portraying the former congressman as a victim in the matter. His attorney George Terwilliger called allegations raised in the federal indictment made-up.
“Criminalizing a handful of administrative mistakes, a few of the thousands of transactions from Aaron’s six years in office. To charge Mr. Schock two days after a national election, has all the appearances of a politically-calculated ambush.”
Schock resigned from office in March 2015, amid scrutiny about exorbitant campaign spending, including fashioning his office in the style of Downton Abbey.
Aaron Schock denied intentional wrongdoing. He says his office made “only a few honest mistakes.” The 24-count indictment includes charges of wire fraud, mail fraud, theft of government funds and falsifying tax returns.
In October, Schock agreed to pay a $10,000 Federal Election Commission fine for a campaign finance violation.
The charges and penalties for each named in the federal indictment:
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