top of page

George Santos May Be A Joke-- But His Criminal Financial Behavior Isn't

Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” has a new star, George Santos. This weekend’s episode kept coming back to Santos over and over. The 12 minute montage had half a dozen segments on Santos-- two on how he's an embarrassment to drag performers; one on how he craves attention; one comparing him to Instagram’s attempts to make itself appear more successful than it really is; one connecting him to Batman and Marjorie Traitor Greene (one of 2 connecting him to Greene); one making fun of his lies at being a volleyball player for Baruch College; one poking fun at how he dresses. He’s a national joke, an international joke. But that isn’t going to put him in prison. Nor is the compulsive lying. But you know what is, right? The criminal behavior is what’s going to put Santos behind bars.

Aside from lots of news organizations, Santos is being investigated by the Attorney General of New York, by the Nassau County D.A., by the Queens County D.A., by the FEC, the SEC, the House Ethics Committee (a joke itself), by the Brazilian police and by the Department of Justice. His myriad financial improprieties are going to do him in. Yesterday, a team of NY Times reporters wrote about an inconvenient missing 365,399.08 [likely pocketed by Santos]— “unexplained spending, with no record of where it went or for what purpose. The mysterious expenditures, which list no recipient and offer no receipts, account for nearly 12 percent of the Santos campaign’s total reported expenses— many times exceeding what is typical for congressional candidates. Fellow New York House members, for example, failed to itemize between zero and 2 percent of their expenses this past cycle.”

The unexplained spending is among a litany of irregularities found in nearly every aspect of how the Santos campaign handled its finances, The Times found.
Several donors said in interviews that the Santos campaign or associated groups misrepresented how much they gave. Campaign finance documents show discrepancies between what the Santos campaign reported having spent and what recipients, such as other Republican candidates, reported having been given.
When the campaign has amended its filings, as it has 36 times, some payments have gone up or simply disappeared. And though other New York candidates list $26,000 in donations from Santos, the contributions do not appear in his filings at all, The Times’ analysis showed.
Bill McGinley, a lawyer for one of the donors and a former general counsel to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, examined some of Santos’s contribution reports and said they were “all over the place and do not make any sense.”
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” he added.
… Campaigns do not need itemize or provide receipts for expenses of less than $200. But if they spend more than $200 with a single vendor— even spread over several transactions— they would be required to go back and itemize each expenditure.
If Santos were to suggest that the unexplained $365,000 was spent in increments of $200 or less, he would have had to do business with more than 1,800 separate entities— many times more than the roughly 270 he listed in itemized reports.
Experts said that would be implausible and called the spending concerning, particularly in concert with his other campaign finance issues.
Saurav Ghosh, a director with the Campaign Legal Center, a watchdog group, said that it “beggared belief” that each of the expenditures would have been made at different vendors and that none of them would have totaled more than $200, adding: “It again falls into the category of reporting that is so ludicrous that it’s completely wrong, and suggests that they’re covering up how they actually spent their money.”
… The degree to which Santos has seemingly stretched campaign finance rules underscores the challenge that the FEC faces in its effort to monitor hundreds of federal campaigns and an exploding number of political committees across the country each election cycle.
While the agency flagged scores of issues in Santos’ campaign filings, such as excessive contributions and unexplained increases in the number of itemized disbursements, it does not appear to have looked into the $365,399.08 that Santos said he spent without any explanation. And even if it did, the spending would be difficult to parse.
“I don’t know how you even determine that it’s a lot of different expenditures,” said Kenneth Gross, the former head of the FEC general counsel’s enforcement division. “You’re just stabbing around in the dark.”
The Santos campaign’s accounting of the political donations it received is also littered with discrepancies. Some donors say the amounts reported by the campaign do not match what they gave.
Several donors interview by The Times received letters from the FEC asking them to explain donations that appear to be above the legal threshold.
But the issues went beyond that. In one case, the campaign reported 24 separate transactions from one donor that totaled nearly $20,000, in excess of what is legally allowed. All are linked to the donor’s former address, but they use different versions of the donor’s name— making it appear as if the money is coming from two different people. Some of the contributions incorrectly refer to the donor’s having a spouse. The donor, who asked not to be identified, said his own records indicated that he gave around $13,000 to the campaign and an associated committee in six transactions through that period.
Another generous Santos donor. Andrew Intrater [a funnel for Kremlin money], said that his personal financial records show that he donated around $250,000 to the campaign and various Santos-connected political groups during the 2022 cycle. But not all the donations in the filings matched Intrater’s records, he said.
Intrater gave $175,000 to Rise NY PAC— a voter registration effort he later learned was run by Santos’ sister and Nancy Marks, his campaign treasurer— only to later discover that $95,000 of that was not reported by the group in the financial reports required by the state. (The PAC recently updated its filings to reflect the missing donations, which go back to 2021.)
Intrater also made another $25,000 donation to a Santos-affiliated political entity called RedStone Strategies. Intrater made the donation after a RedStone representative, at Santos’ prodding, told him and other donors that RedStone was raising $1.5 million for a hefty television ad buy on behalf of Santos.
But it turned out that these donations— in fact the entire entity— were never registered and disclosed with the FEC as would be required for such activity. The Times has reported that there is no sign that this group, which used the same co-working space address as Santos’ campaign and business headquarters, actually spent any money on advertising or other political activity.
Intrater says he has provided information about the donations to the Department of Justice.
Another mystery revolves around fees that Santos paid to WinRed, the donation-processing digital platform used to collect mostly small-dollar contributions to candidates.
WinRed charges a standard fee (as of last year, 3.94 percent) on every donation, which is paid by the campaign or committee that receives the money. But Santos seemed to suggest a different arrangement that was reported earlier by NBC News.
Santos, who received $796,238.26 from WinRed, according to that company’s FEC filings, should have paid roughly $33,000 in fees. Instead, his filings to regulators show payments adding up to more than $206,000— an appropriate fee only if Santos had taken in roughly $5 million.
The overpayment leaves roughly $173,000 in fees unaccounted for.
In a statement, WinRed said it “proactively reached out to the campaign to ensure its agency fees were being reported accurately.”
Paul Ryan, an expert in campaign finance law, suggested that Santos may be “inflating the payments to WinRed and pocketing them for personal use,” something that he said the FEC might not notice because WinRed expenses are so common among candidates.

Derek Willis over at the Decision Desk reported that one of Santos’ big donors, the Sam Bankman Fried Gang, is asking political organizations and candidates to give back the bribes! That’s a new one on me. He wrote that “As part of the bankruptcy case involving FTX, the cryptocurrency exchange that Sam Bankman-Fried ran, the debtors in the case announced on Feb. 5 that they are seeking the return of those donations: ‘the FTX Debtors are sending confidential messages to political figures, political action funds, and other recipients of contributions or other payments that were made by or at the direction of the FTX Debtors, Samuel Bankman-Fried or other officers or principals of the FTX Debtors (collectively, the 'FTX Contributors'). These recipients are requested to return such funds to the FTX Debtors by February 28, 2023.’”

Most of the $100 million or so doled out to candidates and committees helping them has not been returned a few candidates who did return the money given by Bankman-Fried and Salame (the GOP bagman) include Mitt Romney (R-UT), Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Haley Stevens (D-MI), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Jim Costa (D-CA), Salud Carbajal (D-CA), Mike Lee (R-UT), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), David Valadao (R-CA), Brad Finstad (R-MiN), Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Mike Simpson,(R-ID) and Andy Kim (D-NJ), “only a fraction of the donations SBF made (committees tied to at least 16 sitting senators got donations, for example). Thanks to a large contribution to a Democratic party joint fundraising committee, every state party committee got money from him, as did many leadership PACs.

“Like SBF,” reported Willis, “the largest donations made by Salame went to super PACs that are unlikely to give the money back (or to suffer consequences for not doing so). Both donated to GMI PAC, which served as a clearinghouse for other crypto-themed super PACs.” Salame’s girlfriend ran unsuccessfully for the GOP nomination in NY-01 and over a million dollars in FTX-affiliated money was sloshing around in Long Island Republican politics, some of it making it’s way to Santos as well. No one thinks he’ll be returning any of the crypto money that wound up coming through his campaign. So far Salame isn't be prosecuted in return for his cooperation against Bankman-Fried.

This morning, in the right-wing Washington Examiner, Byron York wrote that "justice for George Santos will involve process as well as possible punishment. It will not give the instant gratification some in Washington want. But it will be the right thing to do." I suspect that by the time the House Republicans get around to "justice," Santos will already be on his way to a nice long and well-deserved prison sentence.


Feb 15, 2023

The democraps got rid of Al Franken within a week for "inappropriate touching", yet can do nothing about a bunch of insurrectionist members who tried to have them KILLED. I'm supposed to give these fckers money?


Feb 14, 2023

1) lying doesn't matter in this shithole. If it did, everyone in DC would be in prison.

2) "The criminal behavior is what’s going to put Santos behind bars."

got a big chuckle out of that one

3) "Aside from lots of news organizations, Santos is being investigated by the Attorney General of New York, by the Nassau County D.A., by the Queens County D.A., by the FEC, the SEC, the House Ethics Committee (a joke itself), by the Brazilian police and by the Department of Justice."

And even bigger chuckle... a guffaw, really, from that one.

note: still not claiming that the democrap party is doing "merrick garland", either to remove this carbuncle or investigate whether he's even …

bottom of page