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George Santos’ campaign finance records include a tangled web of money transfers.
Federal filings show seven fundraising committees bear Santos’ name or initials and share the goal of boosting him.
And state filings show his sister’s Rise NY PAC has donors in common with Santos’ GADS PAC.
“I think it’s once again a pattern where we’re not exactly sure where all that money is coming from or where all that money is going,” Tiffany Muller said, president of the watchdog group End Citizens United. “And it appears to be a shell game.”
A NY1 review of Santos’ public financial records creates a winding map of how he moved money around.
Santos’ principle campaign committee, Devolder-Santos for Congress, was boosted not just by his questionable $705,000 loan, but by nearly $432,000 in transfers from three Santos-aligned committees and about $33,000 in contributions from a fourth Santos-aligned committee.
His GADS PAC was funded with $173,000 in transfers from two Santos-aligned committees and $27,000 in loans from Santos himself.
It is designated in filings as a leadership PAC of the kind much higher-ranking elected officials have.
Moving funds in this manner may not be illegal, but it does make it harder to follow the money.
Santos told Rep. Matt Gaetz on the “War Room” podcast earlier this month: “Look, I’ve worked my entire life. I’ve lived an honest life. I’ve never been accused of any bad-doing. It’s the equity of my hard-working self.”
But Santos’ records were recently amended to show much of his loan to his campaign isn’t from his personal funds after all.
And the congressman who claims he made his wealth by being a skilled financier appears to be shifting blame to those who manage his finances.
“You know every campaign hires fiduciaries,” he reminded reporters on Wednesday.
Long Island political veteran Nancy Marks was Santos’ treasurer until a recent paperwork change, though an attorney for her listed replacement told NY1 this client had declined the job.
Santos seemed to take issue Friday with being asked why he was the one who made the change.
“You guys keep asking the same question knowing that it’s not accurate,” he told a reporter.
Marks is still listed as treasurer on five other Santos-affiliated federal committees.
State records show her company was also paid by Tiffany Santos’ Rise NY PAC.
Florida records link her company to George Santos’ Devolder Organization.
Marks has not returned NY1’s calls and emails for comment, including on complaints to the FEC against her.
She declined comment to other outlets.
Santos has been saying he’ll speaking more to the news media “soon.”
Santos’ committees and PAC shared the wealth with many fellow Republicans who have since rejected it and called on him to resign, including the Nassau County GOP and Congressman Anthony D’Esposito of Long Island.
“Any funds that he gave us we’ve returned to his committee,” Joe Cairo, Nassau County Republican Committee leader said earlier this month in Westbury, Long Island.