According to the Associated Press, US Republican Representative Aaron Schock has been spending taxpayer money on private jets and taking his staff to sold out concerts. And they have confirmed at least some of that using Instagram.
The news wire reports that it extracted location data from his (prolific) Instagram feed and compared it with records about each flight billed against his office. The analysis confirms that Schock's office spent $US24,000 of taxpayer money for just eight private flights in 2011 and 2012.
While current rules state that Representatives can use taxpayer money to pay for their share of a private flight, that was only introduced at the start of 2013. In 2011 and 2012, it would only have been legal to take commercial or federally licensed charter flights, unless he sought House Ethics Committee approval.
In total, since 2011 Schock's office appears to have spent $US40,000 on private flights. It's also interesting to note that those flights were taken on planes owned by his campaign donors.
Elsewhere, the Associated Press reports Schock has claimed $US18,000 for car mileage reimbursement since 2013 — one of the highest among all lawmakers in Congress — and taken Generation Y Fund-purchased tickets for a sold-out Katy Perry concert, worth $US24,000, for his staff. But such lavish behaviour is perhaps no surprise from a man who apparently decorates his home office in the style of Downtown Abbey.
Of course, one pertinent piece of advice perhaps ought come out of this for Schock: if you're going to cheat the system, don't flash it around on Instagram while you did it. Because, these days, everyone is watching. [AP via Engadget]