- Mother Jones tried to track down donors listed in George Santos’ 2020 campaign archive.
- More than a dozen top donors had addresses that do not exist or names that could not be verified.
- The congressman’s latest campaign is under scrutiny due to questionable loans and funding sources.
More than a dozen top donors listed in George Santos’ failed 2020 campaign were attributed to addresses that do not exist or to names that could not be verified, according to a Mother Jones report published Friday.
Before being elected to New York’s 3rd Congressional District last year — a term already facing one scandal after another with reports of a fabricated back story and potential campaign finance violations — Santos made an unsuccessful bid for Congress in 2020.
His campaign raised $338,000 that year. But a Mother Jones investigation reports that at least more than $30,000 came from donors whose identities cannot be confirmed, raising concerns about possible violations of federal campaign finance laws.
In one case, Santos’ 2020 campaign filings listed a $2,500 donation from a person named Stephen Berger at an address in Brawley, California. However, the site 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 nor his wife (the only other resident [at the Brandt Road home]) has made some donations to George Santos. He does not know Stephen Berger nor has Stephen Berger ever lived on … Brandt Road.”
Santos’ director of communications, Naysa Woomer, did not respond to a request for comment.
There were also cases where the addresses of reported donors did not exist. A 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 confirmed 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 irregularities reported since Santos was elected in November.
On his resume, Santos listed jobs he never held, such as project manager at Goldman Sachs and assistant asset manager at Citigroup. Santos admitted to The New York Post in December that he embellished his resume.
Santos’ 2022 campaign donations have also raised questions about possible election violations.
On Tuesday, the Long Island congressman’s campaign filed audits of its 2022 filings, which revealed that the $500,000 may not have come from a “personal” loan as previously reported, according to The Daily Beast.
His campaign may also have failed to report where exactly some of his large contributions, such as a $25,000 donation, went, The New York Times reported.
The Washington Post reported Friday that the Justice Department has asked the Federal Election Commission to delay any enforcement action against Santos, indicating that a criminal investigation is being sought against him.
Spokesmen for the FEC and the Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.