Ethics complaint filed against George Santos with Federal Election Commission

A campaign finance watchdog organisation filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against embattled Republican Representative George Santos of New York, CBS News reported.

The Campaign Legal Center filed the complaint and accused the Republican freshman of illegally using campaign cash to pay for personal expenses such as rent for an apartment. The complaint also alleges that Mr Santos submitted false information about the source of his campaign contributions and his expenses.

The complaint comes as Mr Santos has come under fire for numerous fabrications and lies he told throughought his 2022 congressional campaign, where he flipped an open seat on Long Island. The New York Times found that he had not worked for many of the banks like Goldman Sachs or Citibank that he had claimed to have worked, nor did he graduate from Baruch College. The Jewish Daily Forward also found he had lied about being Jewish.

The Campaign Legal Center said in its complaint that Mr Santos “purported to loan his campaign $705,000 during the 2022 election. But it is far from clear how he could have done so with his own funds, because financial disclosure reports indicate that Santos had only $55,000 to his name in 2020.”

“The concealed true source behind $705,000 in contributions to Santos's campaign could be a corporation or foreign national — both of which are categorically barred from contributing to federal candidates,” the complaint also adds.

The Campaign Legal Center also flagged how Mr Santos’s campaign had listed numerous expenses as costing $199.99. The FEC requires expenses above than $200 to have itemised details and receipts.

“The campaign reported an astounding 40 disbursements between $199 and $200, including 37 disbursements of exactly $199.99. The sheer number of these just-under-$200 disbursements is implausible, and some payments appear to be impossible given the nature of the item or service covered,” the complaint said.

The complaint does not mean that the FEC is actively investigating Mr Santos and it can choose whether to probe his campaign.

“Voters deserve the truth. They have a right to know who is spending to influence their vote and their government and they have a right to know how the candidates competing for their vote are spending those funds,” Adav Noti, legal director at the Campaign Legal Center and its senior vice president, said in a statement to CBS News.