George Santos isn’t just a serial fabulist who’s lied about some very odd things; his campaign finances are also super sketchy. For the last few weeks, people have been struggling to sort out the mess that is the newly sworn-in GOP lawmaker’s financial records. Among the many red flags is this one: There are hundreds of thousands of dollars in unexplained spending, which no proof of where they went or for what.
A new report from The New York Times highlights a mysterious $365,399.08, about 12 percent of the campaign’s total reported expenses. There are no recipients or receipts for these expenditures. For context, Santos’ fellow New York House members failed to itemize between zero and 2 percent of their expenses.
The report highlights other eyebrow-raising behavior. Several donors told NYT that the Santos campaign had misrepresented how much they’d given. Ditto other Republican candidates who had received donations from him. What’s more, the campaign has amended its filings a whopping 36 times. Some of those times, some payments had suddenly gone up or simply disappeared.
Whether the discrepancies are mere sloppiness or something more underhanded is up in the air. One discovery feels more like the latter: There are a slew of payments for exactly $199.99, a mere two cents below the point where they’d have to provide receipts. Some of these payments were added to older spending reports, but none of them had any description beyond the date they were made.
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Whatever the explanation, lawyers are having a bear of a time sifting through the wreckage of Santos’ campaign finances, with one telling NYT they’re “all over the place and do not make any sense.” He added, “I’ve never seen anything like this.”