A US congressman pleads guilty to spending campaign funds on Steam

Republican Duncan Hunter made 68 separate payments to Steam using campaign money

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A Republican congressman has pleaded guilty to misusing over $150,000 dollars of campaign money to fund his lifestyle, including spending $1,300 of that on videogames from Steam.

As was originally reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune at the beginning of the investigation in 2016, California congressman Duncan Hunter had made 68 separate transactions to Steam in order to purchase videogames from the online store which totalled to a value of $1,302. While he initially listed these as expenses that he would reimburse, Hunter, or his wife, Margaret, never returned the money within the given time period.

While Hunter initially attributed the videogames to his son, he has changed his plea from innocent to guilty to spending campaign money on not just games but everything from groceries to luxury family holidays. As is outlined in a press release (via Polygon) from the Department of Justice the Hunters “stole money from the campaign for items as inconsequential as fast food, movie tickets and sneakers; as trivial as videogames, Lego sets and Playdoh; as mundane as groceries, dog food, and utilities; and as self-indulgent as luxury hotels, overseas vacations and plane tickets for their family pet rabbits, Eggburt and Cadbury.”

Both Hunter and his wife could now face a maximum $250,000 fine and five years in prison for their spending sprees.

In an interview on Monday with KUSI News, Hunter says he decided to plead guilty to spare his wife from going to jail. Last June, Margaret Hunter accepted a plea deal that could have seen her testify against her husband.

“I think my kids need a mom in the home,” he says. “Whatever my time in custody will be, I will take that hit. I think it’s important that people know that I did make mistakes.

The reports and press releases give no details as to which games or items Hunter purchased on Steam.