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Aaron Schock pleads not guilty to 24-count indictment

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Former Congressman Aaron Schock has pleaded not guilty in federal court to misusing government and campaign money for personal use.

Schock appeared Monday in U.S. District Court in Springfield to be arraigned on a 24-count indictment. It includes allegations of wire and mail fraud and theft of government funds.

U.S. District Judge Sue Myerscough set a trial date for Feb. 7.

The Republican from Peoria was a formidable fundraiser and a rising star in the GOP before news reports questioned his lavish spending to renovate his Capitol Hill office in the style of the PBS TV series “Downton Abbey” and scrutiny over travel and real estate deals.

The indictment includes nine counts of wire fraud, five of falsification of election commission filings, six of filing false federal income tax returns, two of making false statements, and one each of mail fraud and theft of government funds. A conviction on just one count of wire fraud carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence.