When politicians line their pockets with public donations, that’s a clear crime. However, it isn’t only elected officials who can take advantage of incoming money.
Those who work for politicians – aides, assistants, spokesmen, etc. – are often tempted to give themselves a big boost, if they think they can get away with it.
Unfortunately for one former Democrat aide, though, he didn’t get away with it.
For a while now, the news cycle has been filled with stories of politicos on Capitol Hill potentially misusing donations and charity funds for personal gain. Organizations like Black Lives Matter have faced similar accusations.
To many American citizens, it feels like many in positions of power are abusing the system and corruption is on a concerning rise.
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This story only adds fuel to that fire, too: it seems a former Democratic congressional aide stole public funds to make himself richer. Basically, he gave himself a raise and a series of bonuses.
Of course, this reflects poorly on the Congressman he worked for as well as the Party in question.
Via Washington Examiner:
A former Democratic congressional aide fraudulently allocated public funds to increase his salary and award himself bonuses, receiving almost $80,000 in unauthorized payments, according to the Justice Department.
Sterling Carter worked for Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) and just plead guilty to the theft of public funds, as well as tampering with budget numbers to pay himself more than he earned.
Carter occupied a fairly high-ranking position, too; as director of operations, it’s likely that he was already drawing a decent salary. But obviously, he didn’t think it was enough.
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Schneider’s aide was responsible for managing the office budget and handling payroll for all employees. But he messed with the numbers to hide the fact that he was awarding himself consistent pay boosts.
In the end, between November 2019 and January 2021, Carter gave himself $79,491.67 in “unauthorized payments.”
This came from public funds according to court documents, which in turn translates to straight theft. Taking nearly $80K that doesn’t belong to you, while abusing your position, won’t sit well with a judge.
The only question now is the sentencing: what will be the consequences of Carter’s actions?
Many citizens believe such crimes aren’t appropriately punished and too many thieves get off with a light sentence. In this case, though, the evidence appears overwhelming so maybe leniency won’t be an option.