25 August 2020
Margaret Hunter, the wife of former California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter was sentenced Monday in U.S. court to eight months of home confinement after pleading guilty to misusing more than $150,000 in campaign funds. She was also sentenced to three years’ probation. For the home detention portion of the sentence, the judge restricted all movement outside the home except for employment, education, religious services, mental health and substance abuse counselling, and court proceedings. He banned her from seeking employment with fiduciary responsibility.
The prosecution’s recommendation for a lighter sentence accounted for the fact that Margaret Hunter’s substantial cooperation came at a great cost to herself and her family. The prosecution observed that her decision to cooperate against her husband was a wrenching and difficult one, which effectively pitted herself against the rest of the extended Hunter family. The personal cost of this decision resulted in severe psychological and emotional consequences, including a fractured marriage, intense public scrutiny, and the arduous of task of rebuilding her life as a single mother in a hostile family environment.
Last year, Margaret and Duncan Hunter each pleaded guilty to a single corruption count of misappropriating almost $250,000 in campaign funds. She also had agreed to testify against her husband. Duncan Hunter was sentenced earlier this year to 11 months in prison after he pleaded guilty of the fraud.
Duncan Hunter had extramarital affairs with three lobbyists, a congressional aide and one of his staffers. Angered by his infidelity, Margret decided to dump him and testified against him. This led to his conviction.
Margaret Hunter detailed how she and her husband knowingly used the campaign’s credit card for six years to pay for items as inconsequential as fast food, movie tickets and sneakers; as trivial as video games, Lego sets and Playdoh; as mundane as groceries, dog food, and utilities; and as self-indulgent as luxury hotels, overseas vacations, and plane tickets for themselves, their family members, and their pet rabbits, Eggburt and Cadbury.