California Congressman Duncan Hunter was indicted by the US Department of Justice last night, following a year-long investigation the politician was charged with campaign finance fraud. Hunter and his wife were both charged for the misuse of $250,000 worth of funds for personal expenses.
Chunks of that money have gone on all sorts of things – a quick scan of the charges against Hunter and his wife show money used to buy lunches for their children, as well as a trip to Hawaii. What we’re particularly interested in, however, is that the couple are charged with having spent more than $1,500 of their campaign funds on Steam games.
In the full indictment, which you can read here (via PC Gamer), a search for ‘Steam’ brings up five results. The first of those reads that “about March 16, 2015, in Alpine, California, the Hunters spent $19.99 in campaign funds at Steam Games to pay for video game charges.” It goes on to say that this was one of 82 separate occasions throughout 2015 that the Hunters did so, racking up a total bill of $1,528 paid out from their campaign funds.
In January 2016, Hunter declared that 67 of those charges were “personal expenses,” which would be paid back, but that left around $200 worth of games undeclared. The next day, his wife claimed that the Steam Games charges were fraudulent, despite having previously suggested that they were legitimate. In April 2016, she called First National Bank, insisting that the charges did not come from her or her husband, resulting in $1,302 being paid back into the campaign account.
Around that time, Hunter’s spokesperson blamed one of the charges on the politician’s teenage son. Again, however, the rest of the charges were billed as “unauthorized.” $1,500 is not an insignificant amount of money to spend on Steam in the course of a year, but sadly there’s no way to tell whether the Hunters were buying into every triple-A title they could get their hands on, or hoovering up huge numbers of Counter-Strike crates. The Hunters will be arraigned tomorrow, in a hearing in San Diego.