CHICAGO (Reuters) - Federal prosecutors on Wednesday agreed to drop felony fraud and theft charges against former U.S. Representative Aaron Schock if he repaid about $68,000 owed to his campaign committees and more than $42,000 in tax liabilities.
Schock resigned from the U.S. House of Representatives in 2015 after questions emerged about lavish spending to redecorate his Washington office in the style of the television series “Downton Abbey”.
A year later, he was indicted on charges of mail and wire fraud, theft of government funds, making false statements, falsification of FEC filings and filing false federal tax returns, a court document and prosecutor said.
Schock said in an emailed statement that he was pleased with the agreement and he felt a measure of vindication.
“Mistakes are not crimes,” he said. “The outcome validates this case should have never been started in the first place.”
Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his bid to have the case against him thrown out.
Under the agreement, Schock acknowledged he had failed to accurately report mileage and other expenses as a candidate and a public office holder. He acknowledged owing about $68,000 to his campaign committees for various campaign expenses.
In addition, Schock acknowledged obtaining more than $42,000 in income for reselling tickets, including for the World Series and the Super Bowl, and failing to report the income on his federal tax returns.
“We believe this agreement provides a sensible resolution,” Joseph Fitzpatrick, assistant U.S. attorney in Chicago, said in an email. “It’s a just result and provides the necessary public accountability.”
The deal was announced during a hearing before U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly in Chicago.
Reporting by Suzannah Gonzales in Chicago; Additional reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Frank McGurty and Bill Berkrot