* The feds totally botched this from the very beginning…
Former 18th District Congressman Aaron Schock was officially cleared of federal criminal charges alleging he used his campaign funds for private finances. Completing what is known as a deferred prosecution deal, federal prosecutors in Chicago dropped all charges against the former Peoria-based congressman after he completed a probationary period where he stayed out of trouble and paid back nearly $68,000 to his campaign funds that he used for personal expenses. Schock has also worked out a plan with the Internal Revenue Service to pay back taxes.
After he resigned in 2015 amid a federal investigation, Schock was hit with a sweeping criminal indictment in Springfield alleging he used his government and campaign funds to pay for personal luxuries, including private jets, skybox tickets at Soldier Field, and paying for travel to get a haircut.
Schock denied the allegations and his legal team accused the lead prosecutor in Springfield of pursuing the high-profile case to advance his own career.
In a stroke of luck, the case was transferred last year to Chicago because the judge overseeing the matter was accused of having improper contact with the prosecutors’ office in an unrelated case.
In announcing the deferred prosecution deal in March, the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago said it had taken a fresh look at the charges and decided it would be a “fair and just” outcome, especially given that Schock has no criminal record and resigned from public office.
That deal reached in March required Schock to repay $67,956 to his campaign committees and also pay outstanding taxes due from the years 2010 through 2015.
He also admitted, on the record, that he sought reimbursement for mileage without documentation that led to reimbursements “that exceeded the number of miles actually driven” and that he took tickets he’d landed at face value, for events like the World Series and the Super Bowl, and resold them for a profit. […]
The agreement and subsequent dismissal of charges marks a rare and stunning victory for Schock. Although he admitted to the above accusations, Schock did not plead guilty to any criminal offenses.
“There’s a difference between mistakes and crimes,” Schock said in March after the agreement was approved.