A nonpartisan watchdog group has filed an ethics complaint against freshman Rep. George Santos alleging the New York Republican violated campaign-finance laws.
The Campaign Legal Center is scrutinizing a $705,000 loan from Mr. Santos to his campaign, saying financial disclosures suggest he did not have that kind of money.
Mr. Santos recently admitted to fabricating swaths of his resume, including his work history, resume and family history. The revelations and multiple probes into his campaign have marred what the new House majority described as a story from an openly gay GOP candidate.
The new complaint alleges the Santos campaign might have taken money from unknown individuals or corporations and funneled it to the election effort through the newly formed company Devolder LLC.
“As part of his latest campaign of duplicity, Santos also appears to have violated federal campaign finance laws by knowingly and willfully concealing the true sources of his campaign’s funding, misrepresenting how his campaign spent its money, and illegally paying for personal expenses with campaign funds,” the complaint says.
The center also takes issue with how the congressman’s campaign spent money, citing 37 disbursements of exactly $199.99. It suggests the amounts were designed to circumvent disclosure rules.
“The sheer number of these just-under-$200 disbursements is implausible, and some payments appear to be impossible given the nature of the item or service covered. Accordingly, there is reason to believe Santos’s campaign deliberately falsified its disbursement reporting, among numerous other reporting violations,” the complaint says.
Mr. Santos’ congressional office declined to comment on the complaint, saying it doesn’t comment on campaign matters.
The congressman faces a number of probes into his campaign, including one from the Eastern District of New York and prosecutors in Nassau County. Brazilian authorities also told the Justice Department that they plan to reopen a fraud case from 2008.
Mr. Santos, who was sworn in over the weekend, has admitted to some of his personal fabrications but deflected criticism in media interviews.
“Look at Joe Biden. Joe Biden’s been lying to the American people for 40 years,” he told Fox News last week. “He’s the president of the United States. Democrats over-resoundingly support him. Do they have no shame?”