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- Mother Jones tried to track down donors listed in George Santos’ 2020 campaign filings.
- More than a dozen top donors had addresses that don’t exist or names that could not be verified.
- The congressman’s latest campaign is under scrutiny due to questionable loans and sources of funding.
More than a dozen top donors listed in George Santos’s failed 2020 campaign were attributed to addresses that don’t exist or to names that could not be verified, according to a Mother Jones report published Friday.
Before he was elected in New York’s 3rd congressional district last year — a term which is already facing one scandal after another with reports of a fabricated backstory and potential campaign finance violations — Santos made an unsuccessful bid for Congress in 2020.
His campaign raised $338,000 that year. But an investigation by Mother Jones reports that at least more than $30,000 came from donors whose identities can’t be confirmed, raising concerns of possible violations of federal campaign finance laws.
In one case, Santos’ 2020 campaign filings listed a $2,500 donation from an individual named Stephen Berger at a Brawley, California address. However, the location is associated with William Brandt, a longtime California rancher and Republican donor, and his wife, Mother Jones reported.
A spokesperson for Brandt told the publication that “neither he or his wife (the only other occupant [at the Brandt Road home]) have made any donations to George Santos. He does not know Stephen Berger nor has Stephen Berger ever lived at…Brandt Road.”
Santos’ communications director, Naysa Woomer, did not respond to a request for comment.
There were also instances where the addresses of reported donors did not exist. One donor was reported to be located at 45 New Mexico Street in Jackson Township, New Jersey, but the address does not exist, according to Google Maps.
Another donor whose address could not be verified was listed as Rafael Da Silva, which is the same name as the professional Brazilian soccer player, Mother Jones reported.
The findings add to the number of discrepancies reported since Santos was elected in November.
On his resume, Santos listed jobs he never held, such as project manager at Goldman Sachs and asset manager associate at Citigroup. Santos admitted to The New York Post in December that he embellished his resume.
Santos’ 2022 campaign donations have also raised questions of possible election violations.
On Tuesday, the Long Island congressman’s campaign filed revisions to its 2022 filings, which revealed that $500,000 may not have come from a “personal” loan as previously reported, according to The Daily Beast.
His campaign may have also failed to properly report where some of its large contributions, such as one $25,000 donation, exactly went, The New York Times reported.
The Washington Post reported Friday that the Justice Department has asked the Federal Election Commission to hold off any enforcement action against Santos, suggesting a criminal inquiry is being sought against him.
Spokespersons for the FEC and the Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.