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Sunday, July 21, 2024

US congressman spent campaign funds on OnlyFans

The probe into alleged financial wrongdoing is an attempt to “smear” him, embattled lawmaker George Santos claims

US Republican lawmaker George Santos illegally used campaign funds for personal expenses like OnlyFans subscriptions and Botox treatments, a congressional ethics committee has claimed.

Under-fire New York Congressman Santos was arrested in May on various charges of wire fraud, money laundering and lying to Congress – and last month received another indictment, adding additional charges linked to identity theft and a scheme linked to his campaign for re-election.

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The House Ethics Committee said on Thursday that it has uncovered “substantial evidence of potential violations of federal criminal law,” adding that it was referring the matter to the Justice Department.

“In light of the ongoing criminal investigation into Representative Santos and the ISC’s (Investigative Subcommittee) findings of additional uncharged and unlawful conduct by Representative Santos, the ISC recommended that the committee immediately refer these allegations to the Department of Justice,” the report said.

The six-member committee, which is divided equally between Republican and Democrat affiliations, added in its report that 35-year-old Santos has “knowingly caused his campaign committee to file false or incomplete reports with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).”

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It also alleged that Santos had on numerous occasions transferred money donated to his re-election campaign to his personal accounts. From there, the ethics committee claims that Santos used the funds for various personal expenses and said his conduct “is beneath the dignity of the office, and has brought severe discredit upon the House.”

Among the items purchased by Santos with illegally obtained money, the report said, were luxury products from high-end retailer Hermes, spa treatments and hotel stays. It also alleges that Santos used campaign money to pay for OnlyFans subscriptions as well as for Botox therapy treatments.

Soon after the publication of the report on Thursday, Santos took to X (formerly Twitter) where he denounced what he said was a “biased report” that had gone to “extraordinary lengths to smear” him.

He added, however, that he will now not be seeking re-election for a second term in 2024 “as my family deserves better than to be under the gun from the press all the time.”