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Jorge Santos calls himself treasurer of his campaign committee

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(CNN) Rep. George Santos has appointed himself treasurer of his campaign committee, marking the latest development in a months-long saga over baffling filings his campaign has made with federal regulators.

The new filing was released late Friday afternoon with the Federal Election Commission, just over a week after federal prosecutors unsealed a 13-count indictment, charging the New York Republican with wire fraud, and obtaining unemployment benefits for Covid-19 by way of fraud. defrauded and lied about his personal finances on the forms he submitted to the United States House of Representatives as a candidate. He denied any wrongdoing, not guilty to the charges.

Santos defended the move on Saturday, saying it was intended to “ensure compliance”.

The new lawmakers said, “I intend to work above reproach. Twitter. “We will continue to build our campaign around experienced professionals in this field.”

He added that FEC records will be updated to reflect the change.

Questions have long swirled about the identity of Santos’ campaign treasurer. This year, the Santos campaign appointed a new treasurer known as Andrew Olson, but federal and state records do not show anyone with that name as treasurer for other federal or political commissions operating in the state of New York.

At the time Olson was added as treasurer, the address associated with him and Santos’ campaign was a mixed-use apartment and commercial building in Elmhurst, New York, where the congresswoman’s sister resided until the beginning of this year.

Earlier this month, the Washington-based group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission questioning Olson’s existence and asking the agency to investigate whether the campaign violated campaign finance laws through filings indicating that this person was the treasurer. .

Political committees are not allowed to raise or spend money without a treasurer. Candidates can legally serve as treasurers for their own campaigns, but they rarely do.

During his brief stay in Washington, Santos’ campaign documents came under intense scrutiny. They range from questions about dozens of campaign expenses listed at $199.99 — a penny short of the limit campaigns are required to keep receipts — to creating confusion about who was holding the treasurer position.

On January 25, for example, Santos’ campaign appointed a political consultant from Wisconsin to replace Nancy Marks, the congresswoman’s longtime treasurer. But the counselor’s attorney said the campaign did so without his permission and that his client refused the job.

Then, on January 31, Marks informed the Federal Election Commission that she had resigned. Later that day, Olson’s electronic signature appeared for the first time in the Santos report.

Santos has argued in the past that the deposits are not his responsibility.

“I don’t touch any of my items at the Friends of the Environment Center, right? He told CNN this past January. “So don’t be dishonest and report it because you know every campaign hires confidants. »

This story has been updated with additional information.

CNN’s Andrea Cambron contributed to this report.

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