George Santos, the former New York congressman who was expelled in December, still faces significant financial challenges related to his campaign committee, which remains active despite his departure from Congress.
Recent campaign finance reports reveal that Santos’ committee owes over $150,000 to several vendors, and he used campaign funds for meals at the Capitol Hill Club shortly after being expelled.
Santos’ expulsion from Congress was prompted by a series of scandals, including allegations of lying about his life during the campaign, making unauthorized charges on donors’ credit cards, and fraudulently claiming unemployment benefits during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Santos faces more than 20 charges, and though he has pleaded not guilty, the fallout has extended to his former campaign treasurer, Nancy Marks, who pleaded guilty to fraudulent reporting last fall.
Even after leaving Congress, Santos’ campaign finance troubles persist, with the latest report highlighting the financial turmoil caused by his campaign. The committee’s filing reveals a debt of over $16,000 to WinRed, an online payment processing platform, a previously undisclosed liability.
In total, the campaign reports owing $155,000 to WinRed, former staffers, legal and fundraising firms, and an Italian restaurant in Queens.
The report also continues to list a substantial debt of $715,000 owed to Santos by the campaign, an amount prosecutors have challenged, alleging that Santos never provided a loan to his campaign.
The expenses reported in the fourth quarter include over $2,200 spent at the Capitol Hill Club, a private social club for Republicans, with more than $1,300 spent on December 4, shortly after Santos’ expulsion. Other expenses primarily involve compliance consulting and payments to WinRed.
Despite the financial challenges, Santos’ campaign reported receiving a little over $11,000 in the fourth quarter but noted that contributions designated for the 2024 general election had been refunded to donors. Some contributions seemed to be from recurring online donors.
The special election for Santos’ seat, covering northern Queens to the North Shore of Long Island, is scheduled for next month. In the absence of Santos, the race features former Democratic Representative Tom Suozzi, who held the seat before Santos, facing Republican newcomer Mazi Pilip.