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George Santos admits $500,000 personal campaign loan wasn’t ‘personal’


Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

George Santos promised reporters a surprise on Tuesday. When he brought coffee and donuts for the journalists who lined his desk, it was a disappointment. But Santos apparently got another surprise.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Santos’ political operation filed a flurry of amended campaign finance reports, telling the federal government, among other things, that a $500,000 loan it provided to his campaign would not was not, in fact, from his personal funds as he previously claimed.

However, although the newly amended record told us where the funds were not come, he also raised a new question-from where does does the money come from?

While both old and new campaign documents claim that the loans came “from the candidate,” the latest amended campaign document had the box marked “candidate’s personal funds”; on the newly modified folder today, this box is unchecked.

Another filing altered on Tuesday revealed that a “candidate loan” of $125,000 in late October also did not come from his “personal funds,” but like the $500,000 question, did not say where the loan came from. money, when the loan was due, or what entity, if any, backed the money.

The real reason McCarthy put Santos on the science committee

The New York Times reported earlier this month that Operation Santos solicited large political donations through an entity that was never registered with the Federal Election Commission. This entity appears to share a name – RedStone Strategies – with a private company which The Daily Beast previously reported was linked to Santos.

According to Timesa donor cut a $25,000 contribution check to RedStone Strategies in late October just days before Santos loaned his campaign $125,000 – the money he now tells the FEC came from the candidate, but not from his personal funds.

“The person who approached the donor said that Mr. Santos had asked him in the weeks leading up to the campaign to approach donors, some of whom had already given the maximum allowed to Mr. Santos’ election campaign, and help to coordinate their donations to RedStone, according to a person familiar with the arrangement who wished to remain anonymous,” the Times reported.

Brendan Fischer, deputy executive director of government watchdog Documented and a campaign finance expert, first raised questions about the source of Santos’ $705,000 “self-funded” campaign finance in a report by the Daily. Beast last month.

George Santos’ massive campaign loans may not be legal

Santos has previously admitted he used money from his company, the Devolder Organization LLC, to fund his campaign — a ruling by legal experts that could amount to an illegal contribution of $705,000. Santos confirmed to The Daily Beast last month that he withdrew money from his business specifically to fund his campaign, believing he was the sole owner of the business. (However, the LLC is not a “sole proprietorship” and its accounts are separate from Santos’ personal accounts.)

Santos made the same claim in a WABC radio interview, saying the loans were “the money I paid myself through the Devolder organization.” (Santos’ most recent financial disclosure shows a salary of $750,000 from the Devolder organization, as well as dividends valued at between $1 million and $5 million.)

Today, Fischer said the attempted correction ‘isn’t half a measure, it’s barely a quarter measure’.

“I don’t know what they think they’re doing,” Fischer told The Daily Beast after reviewing the filings. “The Santos campaign may have unchecked the ‘candidate’s personal funds’ box, but it still reports that the $500,000 came from Santos himself. If the ‘candidate loan’ didn’t actually come from the candidate, then Santos should be clear and disclose where the money is really coming from, Santos can’t tick a box and make his legal troubles go away.

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