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Crime

Former Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock To Be Indicted, Lawyer Says

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Seth Perlman/AP

Illinois congressman Aaron Schock, a Republican who resigned following scrutiny of exorbitant spending on items such as Katy Perry concert tickets and decorating his office in the style of the television series Downton Abbey, expects to be indicted by a federal grand jury, his lawyer said Thursday.

In a statement given at a local press conference and obtained by PEOPLE, Schock’s attorney, George Terwilliger, gave no specific details on the indictment.

“This indictment will look bad, but underneath it is just made-up allegations of criminal activity arising from unintentional administrative errors,” Terwilliger said in a statement. “These charges are the culmination of an effort to find something, anything, to take down Aaron Schock.”

In his own statement, Schock, 35, denied any intentional wrongdoing. He said federal investigators spent “19 months, using two grand juries and millions of taxpayer dollars in an attempt to manufacture a crime.”

“I simply cannot believe it has come to this,” Schock said in the statement. “I intend to not only prove these allegations false, but in the process expose this investigation for what it was.”

He concluded, “I am eager to finally defend my name and reputation in a court of law and move on with my life. I have learned a painful lesson in this investigation – our own government cannot be trusted. But the people can be trusted. And we will put my future – once again – in the hands of the good people of this community.”

A spokeswoman from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Springfield told the Peoria Journal-Star that further information on any indictment charges would be announced later Thursday.

Schock announced his resignation from Congress in March 2015 in the wake of an Associated Press report that found he had used taxpayer dollars and campaign funds to pay for, among other things, Katy Perry tickets.

“I do this with a heavy heart. Serving the people of the 18th District is the highest and greatest honor I have had in my life,” he said at the time in a statement to Politico.

“I thank them for their faith in electing me and letting me represent their interests in Washington. I have given them my all over the last six years. I have traveled to all corners of the District to meet with the people I’ve been fortunate to be able to call my friends and neighbors.”

Schock previously caused a stir in 2011 when he flaunted his six-pack abs on the cover of Men’s Health.