Schock Pleads Not Guilty; Trial Set for February 7

Former Republican U.S. Representative Aaron Schock

In this Feb. 6, 2015 file photo, Former Republican U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock speaks to reporters in Peoria, Ill., before meetings with constituents.

Seth Perlman/Associated Press

Former Congressman Aaron Schock has pleaded not guilty in federal court to misusing government and campaign money for personal use. Schock appeared Monday in U.S. District Court in Springfield to be arraigned on a 24-count indictment. It includes allegations of wire and mail fraud and theft of government funds. U.S. District Judge Sue Myerscough set a trial date for Feb. 7.

The 35-year old Republican from Peoria was a formidable fundraiser and a rising star in the GOP before news reports questioned his lavish spending to renovate his Capitol Hill office in the style of the PBS TV series "Downton Abbey'' and scrutiny over travel and real estate deals.  
The indictment includes nine counts of wire fraud, five of falsification of election commission filings, six of filing false federal income tax returns, two of making false statements, and one each of mail fraud and theft of government funds.

A conviction on just one count of wire fraud carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence.

Story source: AP