An Illinois resident who contributed to ex-Rep. Aaron Schock's campaign is looking to get his money back after the Illinois Republican resigned following allegations of improper spending.
According to the class action lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Tuesday, Howard Foster of Chicago is alleging Schock committed fraud and racketeering and plotted to defraud campaign contributors. "Plaintiff, like all Schock donors, gave money to the rising young Republican Congressman because he believed Mr. Schock was ethical, a breath of fresh air in Illinois politics, and had a bright future in Congress," reads the complaint. "However, the opposite was true, and while Schock may have been a new, young face in Congress, he willingly followed well-tread paths of political sleaze for personal gain."
Schock resigned his seat in Congress on March 31, following weeks of reports about improper spending of his congressional funds sparked by a Washington Post story detailing his "Downton Abbey" themed office. The class action lawsuit comes as Schock is also under a grand jury investigation. Four of his staffers officially notified the House Monday that they have been served with subpoenas to testify before the grand jury.
The complaint noted that Foster, who donated $500 to Schock's campaign in 2012, decided to contribute to the campaign based on mailings from Schock's campaign committee that described Shcock as a young and honest man." But, every one of these mailings was sent pursuant to Schock’s scheme to defraud donors," read the complaint. "He was in fact a corrupt politician deeply engaged in illegal and/or unethical transactions to enrich himself."
National class action litigation firm Hagens Berman is handling the case, and the firm is encouraging other Schock donors to come forward. In a statement sent Tuesday, the firm said donors who contributed to Schock's campaign between January 2010 and March 2015 could contact its team.
"[We] look forward to seeing every penny returned to campaign contributors who believed the false statements Schock was spoon-feeding his supporters,” managing partner Steve Berman said.
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