George Santos Hit With Campaign Finance Complaint 2 Days After Being Sworn In

The Marketing campaign Authorized Middle is urging federal officers to analyze Santos’s marketing campaign for potential violations.

Rep. George Santos (R-New York) seems to have damaged marketing campaign finance legal guidelines with a questionable mortgage and suspiciously-valued expenditures, in response to a brand new grievance filed with the Federal Election Fee (FEC) by a authorities watchdog.

On high of the quite a few fabrications that Santos created about his resume and non secular and racial id, the Republican seems to have instructed “equally brazen lies” about his marketing campaign’s monetary practices, the Campaign Legal Center (CLC) wrote in its grievance filed Monday. The nonpartisan group urged the FEC to analyze Santos’s marketing campaign for the potential violations.

“As a part of his newest marketing campaign of duplicity, Santos additionally seems to have violated federal marketing campaign finance legal guidelines by knowingly and willfully concealing the true sources of his marketing campaign’s funding, misrepresenting how his marketing campaign spent its cash, and illegally paying for private bills with marketing campaign funds,” the grievance reads.

The grievance may spark an investigation into the lawmaker, who’s already underneath investigation by New York prosecutors for his lies on the marketing campaign path and by Brazilian authorities for a 2008 case during which he allegedly stole a checkbook from an worker underneath his mom to spend practically $700 on clothes underneath a false identify. An investigation would require authorization from four out of the six FEC commissioners.

CLC highlights 3 ways during which it says Santos, his marketing campaign, and his firm, Devolder, seem to have damaged the regulation.

First is Santos’s mortgage of $705,000 to his marketing campaign. Although it isn’t unusual for lawmakers to lend cash to their very own campaigns and get reimbursed, it’s unclear how Santos was capable of mortgage this sum of money to his marketing campaign as, simply two years earlier than the marketing campaign in 2020, he reported making solely $55,000 in earnings and was apparently in 1000’s of {dollars} of debt.

Lately, Santos mentioned that he made tens of millions of {dollars} from his work with Devolder, however these claims “are obscure, uncorroborated, and non-credible in mild of his many earlier lies,” CLC wrote.

Santo has reported that the worth of his firm is between $1 million and $5 million in filings, although Devolder was solely included in Might of 2021 and he has not reported that any shoppers have paid him greater than $5,000 for his companies. Additional, one of many first of his loans for the 2022 marketing campaign cycle was made simply six weeks after Devolder was included, and the mortgage was valued at $80,000.

The best way that the Santos marketing campaign spent that cash has additionally raised issues. CLC highlighted marketing campaign filings that present that the Santos marketing campaign filed 37 expenditures throughout the 2022 marketing campaign valued at precisely $199.99 — one cent beneath the edge at which campaigns should save expense receipts for the FEC.

“This virtually actually shouldn’t be an correct accounting of the marketing campaign’s bills and suggests as an alternative that the funds had been both falsely reported or structured to keep away from crossing the $200 mark,” the grievance says.

Not solely is it suspicious that there have been dozens of transactions at $199.99, CLC wrote, however spending that actual quantity on at the least a number of events seems to have been unimaginable. As an illustration, in mid-October, the marketing campaign listed a $199.99 expense for a “Resort Keep” on the W Resort South Seaside in Miami, Florida, however CLC discovered that such a keep would value greater than $700. The marketing campaign additionally reported a $199.99 disbursement to journey firm CLEAR, however CLEAR’s normal annual membership is $189.

Lastly, the CLC factors out that Santos appeared to have illegally used marketing campaign funds for his personal hire funds, totalling $13,500.

The FEC has already raised questions on Santos’s marketing campaign filings, as CLC notes that it has despatched 20 letters to the marketing campaign over issues like marketing campaign contributions — an unusual amount of requests from the FEC for a marketing campaign. The newest letter by the FEC says that the marketing campaign has didn’t correctly determine donors who gave over $200 and has accepted donations over authorized limits.