Santos files modified campaign disclosure reports with $500K less from personal funds

Santos files modified campaign disclosure reports with $500K less from personal funds
George Devolder-Santos declared victory against Robert Zimmerman in the state's 3rd Congressional District election. (Photo by Brandon Duffy)

Republican U.S. Rep. George Santos filed new campaign disclosure reports Tuesday that changed the source of a $500,000 loan previously claimed as “personal funds.”

Financial disclosure reports Santos filed following the November election showed an outstanding balance of $630,000 on loans from his personal funds. He had originally listed a $705,000 loan to his campaign. 

Filings on Tuesday showed that $500,000 in loans were not listed from his personal funds and did not specify where the loan originated.

Money Santos listed as a loan in his campaign filings and its source have been questioned in complaints filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Santos’ campaign lawyer Joe Murray, told Newsday that “Due to the FEC complaints it would be inappropriate to comment on an open investigation.”

Efforts to reach a representative from Santos’ Congressional office for comment were unavailing.

Santos faces a pair of new complaints filed by a watchdog group and two of his Democratic colleagues from New York.

The Campaign Legal Center, a nonprofit organization that aims to advance democracy through the law, questioned the newly-elected congressman’s influx of wealth after reporting a salary of $55,000 in 2020 to $750,000 in 2022 and $1 million to $5 million in dividends.

The organization also called the congressman’s $705,000 loan to his campaign into question, claiming he falsified reports on nearly 40 expenditure filings under $200.

The center filed the complaint with the Federal Election Commission on Monday and to the Public Integrity Section of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Democratic U.S. Reps. Ritchie Torres and Daniel Goldman filed a complaint with the House Ethics Committee on Tuesday for allegedly violating the Ethics in Government Act, saying the Republican must be held accountable for deceiving voters and Congress.

The Ethics in Government Act, officials said, was created to “preserve and promote the integrity of public officials and institutions,” which Torres and Goldman believe Santos has failed to adhere to. The two described financial reports submitted in 2020 and 2022 as “sparse and perplexing” in the complaint.

Torres (NY-15) said during a news conference in Long Island on Tuesday he is calling on the FEC to launch an investigation into potential illegal activity and irregularities with the campaign finances of Santos.

Santos has also been accused of dressing up in drag and for allowing a homeless veteran’s dog to die.

Videos and photos surfaced of Santos allegedly dressed up in drag at a party in Brazil. Some who claimed they knew Santos in Brazil said it was the congressman depicted in videos and photos from the event, though Santos has somewhat denied the claims.

The most recent obsession from the media claiming that I am a drag Queen or “performed” as a drag Queen is categorically false,” Santos tweeted last week. “The media continues to make outrageous claims about my life while I am working to deliver results.

But Santos later appeared to acknowledge that he had dressed in drag in Brazil while maintaining he was not a drag queen.

No, I was not a drag queen in Brazil, guys. I was young and I had fun at a festival. Sue me for having a life,” Santos said.

San is also accused of scamming a homeless, disabled veteran out of thousands of dollars that would have been used to care for the man’s service dog.

Richard Osthoff told Patch that he met Santos, who introduced himself as Anthony Devolder, in 2016 while living in a tent on the side of a New Jersey highway.

Osthoff’s service dog, Sapphire, was suffering from a life-threatening stomach tumor, treatment for which would cost $3,000, the veteran told Patch.

A veterinary technician told Osthoff to use Friends of Pets United, a pet charity headed up by Santos under the Anthony Devolder alias.

Osthoff said he never saw any of the funds after a GoFundMe was set up and subsequently deleted once it got close to hitting the $3,000 goal.

Sapphire died in January 2017, he said.

Santos defeated Democrat Robert Zimmerman 142,017-120,060 in the district’s November election.

After multiple publications, including the New York Times, unearthed falsehoods in his personal and professional background, the newly-elected congressman said he will continue to serve the 3rd District constituents until the same number of people who voted for him call for him to step down.

3rd District residents against Santos have already begun to band together in the form of online petitions. Great Neck’s Jody Kass Finkel launched a petition calling on Santos to step down which has received more than 32,000 signatures as of Wednesday.

The petition calls for the U.S. Department of Justice to prosecute Santos for fraud, local Republican leaders to apologize for backing Santos’ congressional run and for national Republican leaders to refuse Santos a seat in Congress.

“In my 30+ years in the nonprofit world lobbying for environmental, health and affordable housing issues in Washington and Albany, I’ve never seen anyone with such an arrogant contempt for the truth or his constituents,” Finkel, a volunteer of the Great Neck Democratic Party and organizer of a petition urging Santos to resign, said in a statement. “While the whole country is aghast at Santos’s lies and utter disregard for decency, the residents of NY-03 have the most to lose.

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