Newly elected Republican Representative George Santos from New York attends the US House of Representatives voting for the new speaker at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, January 4, 2023.
Olivier Douliery | AFP | Getty Images
A national watchdog group has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against US Republican Representative George Santos for allegedly violating several campaign finance laws during his successful run of Congress.
The Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan campaign watchdog organization, filed complaint With the FEC on Monday. The group accused the Santos campaign of allegedly violating three counts of campaign finance laws, including one tied to a $705,000 loan the lawmaker made to his campaign.
The complaint reads, “Instead, it is far more likely that after failing to win his 2020 bid for Congress, Santos and other unidentified individuals secretly – and illegally – funneled money into his 2022 campaign.” Made a plan for.” “The true source behind the $705,000 contribution to Santos’ campaign could be a corporation or a foreign national – both of whom are expressly barred from contributing to federal candidates.”
The FEC did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokeswoman for Santos referred CNBC to attorneys for Congress. An attorney for Santos did not respond to a request for comment.
Santos is under investigation by congressmen and federal officials for lying and embellishing key elements of his resume during his 2022 campaign for New York’s 3rd Congressional District. According to NBC News, prosecutors for the Eastern District of New York are investigating Santos’ finances, including financial disclosures and loans Santos made to his campaign while he was running for Congress.
Santos admitted in an interview with City & State New York that he embellished his resume. Although he has apologized to anyone “disgraced by the resume embellishment”, he denies having committed any crime.
The Campaign Legal Center claims that the loan he took out for his campaign may have come from a straw donor. Santos’ latest financial disclosure states that he earned $750,000 from his company, the Devolder Organization, from 2021 to 2022. Santos told WABC radio host John Catsimetidis, who also donated to Santos, that the loan “came from money I paid myself through the Devolder organization.”
The watchdog has accused Santos of concealing the true source of money that his campaign labeled as loans.
The group also accused Santos’ campaign of falsifying its alleged disbursements and of using campaign funds to pay for personal expenses.
“George Santos has lied to voters about many things, but while lying about your background may not be illegal, deceiving voters about his campaign funding and expenses is a serious violation of federal law, Ed Noti, legal director of the Campaign Legal Center, said in a statement. “That’s what we’re asking the Federal Election Commission to investigate. As the agency responsible for enforcing America’s campaign finance laws, the FEC must reveal to the public how George Santos raised and spent money which he had run for public office, and to ensure accountability for Santos’ illegal conduct.”