GOP Rep. George Santos, the newly elected House of Representatives from New York who has admitted to fabricating his work and education history, is now being charged with sweeping campaign finance violations.
Monday’s allegations come in a complaint filed by the bipartisan Campaign Legal Center with the Federal Election Commission, which could proceed with a formal investigation into Santos. The complaint alleges that Santos — who is already facing further state and local investigations for lying about his background — is widely accused of using his 2022 campaign funds to meet personal needs, lying about how his campaign funds were spent, and the to hide the origin of his campaign funds.
Santos, according to the new complaint, “knowingly and willfully concealed the true sources of his campaign’s funding, misrepresented how his campaign spent its money, and illegally paid for personal expenses with campaign funds.” Especially given Santos’ mountain of lies about his life and qualifications for office, the commission should thoroughly investigate what appear to be equally blatant lies about how his campaign has raised and spent money.”
Santos’ financial reports contain numerous red flags, the watchdog notes. One is his claim that he borrowed $705,000 for his own campaign, although 2020 records show he only had $55,000 to his name. His claims that he made millions from a consulting firm in 2021 and 2022 are “vague, unverified and not credible given his many previous lies,” the group claims.
The FEC last week asked Santos to provide more information on contributions and specific donors for his campaign. according to CNN.
In its complaint, the Campaign Legal Center also points to dozens of expenses in Santos’ records totaling exactly $199.99 — just a penny below the amount the FEC requires itemization for.
“The sheer number of these payouts, nearly $200, is implausible,” says the group, “and some payments appear impossible given the nature of the item or service covered.”
Santos also appears to have used campaign money to pay for his own residence, the complaint said. Santos marked more than $13,000 in his disclosure forms as “housing rent for staff” or “rent and rent deposit” at a New York address for what actually appears to be his own home in suburban Long Island.
A “neighbor said Santos himself has lived there for months,” the complaint said, “and two others said they saw Santos and his husband come and go.”
Santos did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
After the New York Times reported that it was unable to verify many of Santos’ claims about his personal history, the Long Island politician admitted to the New York Post last month that throughout his campaign he spoke about his work experience and college education had lied.
“My sins here brighten up my resume,” he said. “I’m sorry.”
media reports continued to poke holes in the stories Santos sold voters. Investigations have found evidence that he lied because he graduated from college, ran a real estate empire, had a high-profile career on Wall Street, ran a charity that rescued thousands of dogs, and was a mixed-race descendant of Ukrainian Jews whose Grandparents survived the Holocaust.
His claims that his mother died as a result of the 9/11 attacks and that four of his employees died in the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting also appear to be lies.
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