The scathing House Ethics Committee report on embattled Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y. alleges he was a cash-strapped candidate who used campaign contributions to live a life of luxury — including spending donors’ money on trips to casinos, shopping at high-end retailers and even Botox treatments and OnlyFans payments.
“Representative Santos was frequently in debt, had an abysmal credit score, and relied on an ever-growing wallet of high-interest credit cards to fund his luxury spending habits. He occasionally deposited large amounts of cash that he has never accounted for, moved money between his various bank accounts in a highly suspicious manner, and made over $240,000 cash withdrawals for unknown purposes,” the report by the panel’s Investigative Subcommittee found.
The probe allegedly found “a pattern of campaign committee expenditures for travel and other personal services that may not have represented legitimate and verifiable campaign expenditures.”
The subcommittee also alleged Santos had stonewalled its investigation.
“Without Representative Santos’ cooperation,” the report said, “the ISC was unable to verify whether such expenditures, and others detailed below, were incurred for bona fide campaign purposes; however, certain expenditures on their face do not appear to have a campaign nexus.”
Santos tweeted that the report was “biased” and “a disgusting politicized smear.” He also accused the panel of going to “extraordinary lengths to smear myself and my legal team about me not being forthcoming (My legal bills suggest otherwise).”
Here’s a look at what Santos’s campaign allegedly spent money on, according to the report:
- Honeymoon in Vegas: The Investigative Subcommittee reviewed “taxi and hotel charges on the campaign credit card that were incurred in Las Vegas in December 2021, during a time when Representative Santos had told his campaign staff that he was on his honeymoon and there were no corresponding campaign events on his calendar.”
- Hamptons holiday: The subcommittee “identified a July 7, 2022, $3,332.81 Airbnb expenditure, reported to the FEC as a ‘Hotel stay.’ Review of the campaign’s calendar on that date indicated that Representative Santos was ‘off at [the] Hampton’s for the weekend.’”
- Atlantic City: The report noted that $2,281.52 in campaign money was spent at resorts in Atlantic City, N.J. from July 23 to July 24, 2022. It said the subcommittee “did not receive records of any political or campaign events occurring in Atlantic City at that time,” and a former staffer told the panel that Santos once told him “he enjoyed visiting casinos to play roulette, often with his husband.”
- Spa days: “Several other expenditures related to spa services and/or cosmetic procedures could not be verified as having a campaign nexus,” the report found, citing a $1,500 purchase on the campaign debit card at Mirza Aesthetics in 2020. The “expense was not reported to the FEC and was noted as ‘Botox’ in expense spreadsheets,” it said. “Similarly, the $1,400 charge at Virtual Skin Spa was a campaign debit card purchase that was also described as ‘Botox’ in the spreadsheets.” Investigators said they also found an “unreported PayPal payment of $1,029.30 to an esthetician associated with a spa in Rhinebeck, New York.”
- Bank accounts: A campaign committee created by Santos transferred $200,000 to his personal bank accounts, the report found.
- Hermes, Sephora and OnlyFans: After one $50,000 payment from the campaign committee to Santos, the “funds were used to, among other things: pay down personal credit card bills and other debt; make a $4,127.80 purchase at Hermes; and for smaller purchases at OnlyFans; Sephora; and for meals and for parking.”
- Ferragamo stores: After the campaign transferred $20,000 to another Santos company in 2022, the money “was used to make about $6,000 worth of purchases at Ferragamo stores.”
- ATM withdrawals: The $20,000 was also used to withdraw $800 from a casino ATM and another $1,000 from an ATM near Santos’s apartment, the report found.
- Rent: An undisclosed amount of the $20,000 was used for his rent too, according to the report.