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Wife of disgraced former Congressman Duncan Hunter gets home confinement

Margaret Hunter leaves a federal courthouse Monday.
(K.C. Alfred / San Diego Union-Tribune)

Margaret Hunter was sentenced Monday to eight months’ home confinement and three years’ probation for her role in a criminal conspiracy with her husband, former Rep. Duncan Hunter, to illegally use his campaign money for personal purposes.

The sentencing Monday of Margaret Hunter, 45, wife and former campaign manager for former Rep. Duncan Hunter, 43, closes a case that began more than four years ago with questions about unusual campaign spending.

Last year, Margaret and Duncan Hunter each pleaded guilty in separate agreements to one felony count of conspiring to convert more than $150,000 in campaign money to personal use.

Duncan Hunter was sentenced to 11 months in prison and is scheduled to surrender in January. It had been postponed due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

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Margaret Hunter’s sentence is on the low end of the eight- to 14-month range called for by federal sentencing rules under the terms of the plea bargain she struck with the U.S. Department of Justice in June 2019.

Her plea agreement included a detailed description of the crimes she admitted to committing in concert with her husband.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys recommended that her sentence take into consideration that she had been quick to take responsibility, pleading guilty at her earliest opportunity, as well as the scope and importance of her cooperation with prosecutors in securing her husband’s guilty plea in December.

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“As previously noted, this information powerfully contradicted Hunter’s false protestations of innocence and very likely led directly to his guilty plea,” prosecutors wrote in a court filing last week. “As such, her assistance clearly played a critical role in the prosecution.”


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