Prosecutors release trove of evidence showing how Rep. Duncan Hunter wasted $250K in campaign funds

Prosecutors have released a trove of evidence against former Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter, including photos of him downing shots and on vacation with his wife, ahead of his sentencing for misusing $250,000 of campaign cash to fuel his ritzy lifestyle.

The 43-year-old California Representative fought the allegations against him for more than a year but finally pleaded guilty in December 2019 to a federal charge of conspiracy to misuse campaign funds for personal use.

Hunter and his wife and former campaign manager, Margaret were accused in a 60-count indictment in August 2018 of illegally misusing the funds. 

Hunter, first elected in 2008, allegedly blew his campaign cash on entertaining a string of mistresses, family trips abroad with his wife, and on a a first class ticket for his family’s pet rabbit Eggburt. 

In January the disgraced Congressman was forced to resign from the 50th district seat that he held for almost six terms.  

Prosecutors have released a trove of evidence against former Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter, including photos of him downing shots and on vacation with his wife, ahead of his sentencing for misusing $250,000 of campaign funds for personal use. Pictured above taking a shot in this undated photo released Wednesday

Prosecutors have released a trove of evidence against former Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter, including photos of him downing shots and on vacation with his wife, ahead of his sentencing for misusing $250,000 of campaign funds for personal use. Pictured above taking a shot in this undated photo released Wednesday

Duncan and his wife Margaret Hunter pictured partying in Las Vegas in August 2011, where they allegedly spent more than $2,000 in campaign funds

Duncan and his wife Margaret Hunter pictured partying in Las Vegas in August 2011, where they allegedly spent more than $2,000 in campaign funds

Hunter recklessly spent money on fast food, movie tickets, golf outings, garage doors and on luxury oversea vacations with his wife and kids and designer face cream, prosecutors say. The couple pictured together in this undated photo

Hunter recklessly spent money on fast food, movie tickets, golf outings, garage doors and on luxury oversea vacations with his wife and kids and designer face cream, prosecutors say. The couple pictured together in this undated photo 

Hunter’s sentencing is scheduled for March 17 where prosecutors recommend Hunter be given a 14-month federal prison sentence. He pleaded guilty in December 2019 to a federal charge of conspiracy to misuse campaign funds for personal use

Hunter’s sentencing is scheduled for March 17 where prosecutors recommend Hunter be given a 14-month federal prison sentence. He pleaded guilty in December 2019 to a federal charge of conspiracy to misuse campaign funds for personal use

Margaret Hunter, the lawmaker's wife, pleaded guilty in June to conspiring with him to 'knowingly and willingly' convert more than $200,000 in campaign funds for their personal use

Margaret Hunter, the lawmaker’s wife, pleaded guilty in June to conspiring with him to ‘knowingly and willingly’ convert more than $200,000 in campaign funds for their personal use

Hunter’s sentencing is scheduled for March 17. Prosecutors recommend Hunter be given a 14-month federal prison sentence. 

The defense is likely to seek a lesser term or no prison time at all.   

Margaret Hunter, the lawmaker’s wife, pleaded guilty in June to conspiring with him to ‘knowingly and willingly’ convert more than $200,000 in campaign funds for their personal use. 

Prosecutors released a memo on Wednesday, along with the evidence files, to prove to the public that Hunter deliberately misused funds – even though he said the claims were a politically motivated plot against him.  

Hunter recklessly spent money on fast food, movie tickets, golf outings, garage doors and on luxury oversea vacations with his wife and kids and designer face cream, prosecutors say. 

He used funds for a trip to Pittsburgh to attend a Steelers football game in 2010, using campaign money to cover the cost of airfare, a hotel stay, rental vehicle, meals and a luxury box at the game, as per 10News

Hunter and his wife pictured above in this undated photo at a Pittsburg Steelers game

Hunter and his wife pictured above in this undated photo at a Pittsburg Steelers game

Hunter pictured in this undated photo at a Pittsburgh Steelers game

Hunter pictured in this undated photo at a Pittsburgh Steelers game

In August 2011 he used campaign funds to finance a lavish trip to Las Vegas with his wife.  

When asked by his campaign treasurer about the Las Vegas charges on the campaign credit card, Hunter said they were ‘all campaign related.’ 

He even dipped into campaign funds for small things like video games, beachwear, and coffee. 

Hunter had extramarital affairs with at least four women and subsidized his rendezvous getaways with them using political donations to his campaign, prosecutors said.  

Records show that Hunter and his wife were practically broke during their time in Congress. 

Duncan Hunter's wife Margaret - with whom he was seen in Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas in 2015, took a plea deal first and would have testified against him

Duncan Hunter’s wife Margaret - with whom he was seen in Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas in 2015, took a plea deal first and would have testified against him

The prosecutor's memo included transcripts of messages between Duncan Hunter and his wife Margaret. This text exchange dated July 7, 2015 during a trip to Caesar's Palace is Las Vegas shows the couple talking about their outlandish spending and how the campaign card was declined for a $100 purchase

The prosecutor’s memo included transcripts of messages between Duncan Hunter and his wife Margaret. This text exchange dated July 7, 2015 during a trip to Caesar’s Palace is Las Vegas shows the couple talking about their outlandish spending and how the campaign card was declined for a $100 purchase

In this text exchange from September 2015 Margaret asks for money and Duncan says he sent it

In this text exchange from September 2015 Margaret asks for money and Duncan says he sent it

Despite the congressman’s wealthy upbringing and $175,000 a year Congressional salary, the Hunters overdrew their checking account more than 1,000 times in a span of just seven years, according to the sentencing memo. 

‘There was in fact not a single month between 2009 and 2017 when the Hunter family bank account had a positive balance throughout the month,’ the filing said.   

Witnesses told prosecutors that Hunter and is wife were tight on money and Hunter had to check his bank balance before buying a bottle of water. 

The same witness said Hunter’s politician bigwig father regularly boosted his son’s income with frequent $1,000 payments to help with the cost of private-school tuition for his three kids, car repairs and even money for clothes. 

Hunter’s father is Duncan Lee Hunter, a Republican member of the House of Representatives from California’s 52nd, 45th and 42nd districts from 1981 to 2009 who sought the Republican Party nomination for presidency in 2008.

Hunter succeeded his father’s Congress seat.   

Despite the congressman's wealthy upbringing and $175,000 a year Congressional salary, the Hunters overdrew their checking account more than 1,000 times in a span of just seven years, according to the sentencing memo. Pictured on vacation in undated photo with Margaret

Despite the congressman’s wealthy upbringing and $175,000 a year Congressional salary, the Hunters overdrew their checking account more than 1,000 times in a span of just seven years, according to the sentencing memo. Pictured on vacation in undated photo with Margaret

Hunter’s sentencing is scheduled for March 17. Prosecutors recommend Hunter be given a 14-month federal prison sentence. Pictured with wife Margaret

Hunter’s sentencing is scheduled for March 17. Prosecutors recommend Hunter be given a 14-month federal prison sentence. Pictured with wife Margaret

‘Rather than admit his guilt and resign his seat in April 2016 when originally questioned, or even in August 2018 when originally charged, Hunter chose to mislead the more than 700,000 people who reside in the 50th congressional district. As we now know, Hunter lied to the people about his guilt. Not once, but countless times. In doing so, he conned voters into electing a soon-to-be-convict,’ prosecutors said in Wednesday’s memo. 

‘Our very democracy is at risk when a criminal like Hunter wins an election by weaponizing the tropes of fake news and the deep state. This is not a mere philosophical debate in the 50th Congressional district; it is a fact. 

‘Hunter’s false narrative about being an innocent politician framed by a partisan Justice Department influenced his 2018 re- election to Congress,’ the memo added. 

HOW DUNCAN AND MARGARET HUNTER SPENT DONORS’ CASH

Among the expenditures detailed by prosecutors were:

$1,008.72 at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort by Duncan for ski trip with mistress    

$2,569.96 in 22 trips to Barnes & Noble, with Margaret buying books and puzzles for family and friends 

$6,312.81 by both at Alberstons and Haggen Food & Pharmacy for family groceries

$41.04 for a video game for Duncan

$704 for five adult and three children’s tickets to How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Margaret

$65.19 at the Washington D.C. Spy Museum by Margaret for souvenirs

$229.44 at Disneyland’s Star Trader shop for Minnie Mouse ear headbands and Star Wars-themed clothes for the Hunters’ children  

$669.07 on March 27, 2016, at the Hotel del Coronado for a family Easter Sunday brunch 

$28.88 at Panda Express (they also went to In N Out, Wendy’s, McDonalds, Burger King, Domino’s, KFC and Jack in the Box)

$399 for ziplining by Duncan and two children at a Pennsylvania resort

$302.10 for a golf jacket for Duncan 

$60.25 by Margaret for school lunches for their children

$6,288.74 by both for family vacation at Aston Kaanapali Shores resort, Lahaina, Hawaii

$995.90 by Margaret for airline tickets to send her mom and her mom’s boyfriend to Poland

$202.70 by Duncan for dinner with a mistress, another Congressman and his ‘date’ and two friends

$3,727.07 by both for trip to his nephew’s wedding in Boise, Idaho

$300 by Margaret to the Alpine, CA, water utility to keep family from being cut off for overdue bills

$235.36 by Margaret at Michael’s in El Cajon, CA, for crafts

$42.36 by Duncan for Uber ride to and from third mistress’ D.C. home

$14,261.33 by both for family vacation to Italy. Duncan said they were visiting a Naval base but they did not

$418.99 by Margaret for family outing to San Diego SeaWorld  

$462.46 by Duncan for 30 tequila shots and one steak at a friend’s bachelor party at El Tamarindo in D.C.

$220.63 by Duncan for drinks and food at Fado’s Irish pub in D.C. day after bachelor party 

$250 by both for United Airlines ticket for Eggburt the rabbit to fly from San Diego to D.C. 

$250 for Duncan for United Airlines ticket for Eggburt to Minnesota for family vacation  

$215.40 by Duncan for family groceries and food and drink for one of their children’s youth football team’s end-of-the-season party

$411.19 by Duncan for groceries at Von including air freshener and brownie mix