Embattled Rep George Santos (R-NY) raised a negative amount of money in the most recent fundraising quarter, due to having to refund multiple campaign contributors as he faces legal battles.
Mr Santos’s campaign filed his most recent quarterly campaign finance disclosure to the Federal Election Commission on Sunday, the deadline for doing so.
The filing showed that his campaign had a negative cash flow of $16,526.09. The loss of money is mostly due to making campaign refunds. Some of the refunds were for as much as $3,300, while others were for as low as $15.
At the same time, Mr Santos spent about four times as much money as he lost between July and the end of September. His campaign reported $42,086.42 in fundraising. His campaign spent $20,000 on legal fees to the firm Dickinson Wright PLC.
Mr Santos’s campaign also has a large amount of debt. While he paid Dickinson Wright PLC, he still owes the firm $68,727.79. He also continues to owe Italian restaurant Il Bacco $10,000 for catering for his election night party.
Last week, federal officials charged Mr Santos with stealing the identities of his donors to make $44,000 in credit card purchases.
“As alleged, Santos is charged with stealing people’s identities and making charges on his own donors’ credit cards without their authorization, lying to the FEC and, by extension, the public about the financial state of his campaign,” US Attorney for the East District of New York Breon Peace said. “Santos falsely inflated the campaign’s reported receipts with non-existent loans and contributions that were either fabricated or stolen.”
The accusations were part of a superseding indictment that said Mr Santos used the cards of his donors to make multiple unlawful transactions without their knowledge, including moving a “vast majority” of a $12,000 transfer to his personal bank account.
The indictment comes on top of the original charges Mr Santos faced for wire fraud, money laundering and theft of public funds, for which he pleaded not guilty in May.
Last week, his campaign treasurer Nancy Marks pleaded guilty to falsely inflating his campaign fundraising as a means to qualify for a Republican fundraising programme by using the names and identities of family members without their knowledge.
Despite this, Mr Santos has said he will seek re-election and has defiantly refused to resign. In the current race among House Republicans to become Speaker of the House, Mr Santos adamantly refused to support House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, saying he had no contact with the leader. Rather, he said he would support House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan for the speakership.
On Friday, Mr Santos engaged in a heated exchange with a pro-Palestinian rights activist whom he called “human scum” for supposedly being anti-Israel.
-Gustaf Kilander and Josh Marcus contributed to this report
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies