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When you donate money to a political candidate, you assume that you’re helping to finance their campaign, not contributing to their luxury lifestyle. But that’s not always the case.
Representative George Santos of New York spent thousands of dollars intended for his campaign on purchases at Hermès, Ferragamo, and other businesses, The New York Times reported on Thursday. The congressman’s spending habits were revealed in documents released by congressional investigators, who had been looking into Santos’s financial history.
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“Representative Santos sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit,” the House Ethics Committee wrote about its findings. “He blatantly stole from his campaign. He deceived donors into providing what they thought were contributions to his campaign but were in fact payments for his personal benefit.”
Among the places Santos spent the money were Ferragamo ($6,000), Atlantic City casinos (more than $1,700), and Hermès ($4,127.80). He also put down thousands of dollars for expenses described as Botox. In February of last year, he spent $1,500 at a business called Max Pets, and smaller amounts were used at JetBlue, Home Depot, Hilton Hotels, and Long Island’s Adventureland Amusement Park. In total, investigators discovered more than $40,000 of purchases from Santos’s campaign bank account that were never reported to the Federal Election Commission and that seemed to have been used for personal expenses.
Santos, for his part, has called the report “biased,” and he wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter) that he “will not stand by as I am stoned by those who have flaws themselves.” However, the Republican congressman also said that he would not seek re-election. (The House of Representatives is planning to vote on expelling him from the body in the coming weeks.)
The House report is just the latest in Santos’s various dramas. The 35-year-old has come under scrutiny for falsifying his biography, and he’s already been facing a 23-count federal indictment, the Times noted. However, he had refused to step down or say that he wouldn’t seek to remain in the House for another term—until now.
Santos seemingly lived it up while he could, but those days will soon be behind him.