For more than a dozen contributors listed as having donated significant amounts of money to the campaign of Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), the finance documents could not be confirmed, Mother Jones discovered in an investigation of the records.
Donors identified as Victoria and Jonathan Regor, for example, purportedly each contributed the maximum amount allowed — $2,800 — for Santos’s first bid for a House seat in New York in 2020, which he lost, the magazine noted.
Despite a search of databases, no one named Victoria or Jonathan Regor could be located anywhere in the U.S., Mother Jones reported Friday. Additionally, the outlet added that their listed address — 45 New Mexico Street, Jackson Township, New Jersey — does not exist.
Santos’ 2020 campaign finance reports also list a “Stephen Berger” at an address on Brandt Road in Brawley, California, donating $2,500. But a spokesperson for rancher and Republican donor William Brandt told Mother Jones he has lived at the Brandt Road address for at least 20 years and “neither he or his wife have made any donations to George Santos.” Brandt has no idea who “Stephen Berger” might be.
Separately, the documents point to another $2,800 campaign donation attributed to a friend of Santos who denied to Mother Jones that he contributed.
Such “questionable donations” account for more than $30,000 of the $338,000 the Santos campaign raised from individual donors in 2020, according to the magazine.
Santos’ campaign documents are beginning to appear as fib-riddled as the lawmaker’s stories about his life. He has lied about his heritage, family, education, and work experience. Yet Santos has ignored calls for his resignation and has claimed he merely “embellished” his résumé.
Amendments this week to finance forms for his latest campaign indicate that a $700,000 donation to his latest campaign in Long Island that the lawmaker had claimed was a loan from him did not come from Santos after all. That leaves a significant mystery about the source of the funds.
Santos had said he made $55,000 a year before launching the Devolder Organization in 2021. However, the funding for starting up the mysterious company — which had no website and was dissolved shortly after it was launched — is murky.
He claimed that the company, suddenly allegedly worth millions, rocketed his salary to $750,000. That supposedly helped him finance his campaign — which has now been contradicted by the changes to the campaign finance filing. On Wednesday, an agitated Santos insisted to reporters he wasn’t personally involved in amending the campaign finance reports.
Santos’ campaign committee also told federal regulators on Wednesday that it had hired a new treasurer — but the man it named said he had not accepted the job.
The Washington Post reported Friday that the Department of Justice had told the Federal Election Commission to hold off on any civil enforcement action regarding possible Santos campaign violations. It’s the clearest signal yet that the Justice Department has already launched its own criminal investigation into Santos’ campaign finances, the Post noted.
Santos could not be reached for comment.