Santos Investigation: Questions Rise about Campaign Treasurer

April 21, 2023

Federal and local investigations into campaign finances by Rep. George Santos (R-NY) have recently focused on his 2022 campaign treasurer, Nancy Marks, the New York Times reported Friday.

Marks, a bookkeeper, has reportedly been a fixture in Long Island Republican circles. When Santos launched his 2022 campaign Marks used her deep GOP ties to help him meet donors. She signed off on nearly every campaign invoice and financial filing, as well.

However, since it was revealed that federal and local authorities launched investigations into Santos’ admitted resumé fabrications, scrutiny has focused on his financial disclosure filings. Questions include how the freshman Congressman from Nassau County, Long Island generated enough personal wealth to lend his campaign $700,000 as campaign filings show. Santos had said his money came from his company, Devolder Organization, but he has disclosed very little information about its operations.

Campaign filings have surfaced that list donations exceeding the legal limit, hundreds of thousands of dollars in unexplained spending, and a string of expenses for $199.99, which is just a few cents below the threshold for having to reveal receipts. 

On the defensive, Santos has sought to blame Marks for the financial irregularities. He told one news outlet that “the former fiduciary went rogue.”

Marks, meanwhile, has told at least two associates that that she was duped by Santos. She resigned as his Treasurer in late January amid growing scrutiny from the Federal Elections Commission (FEC).

Marks could potentially be a key witness against Santos, though as yet neither her attorney nor the Department of Justice have commented about whether she’s providing information to investigators.

In the meantime, the Times has reported that “even as her stature grew over two decades, Ms. Marks waded into ethically and legally murky territory,” including accounting and business practices that “repeatedly drew suspicion”—including scrutiny from the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York regarding at least two previously unreported instances.

“Former clients have taken her to court, saying she overpaid herself or failed to pay bills, as have a long line of creditors,” the Times notes. “Her close business ties with a felon alienated some one-time allies.”

Neither Marks nor her attorney, Ray Perini, responded to requests for comment from Times reporters. The U.S. attorney’s office and a lawyer for Santos also declined to comment.

Santos filed for reelection in 2024 on March 14, meaning scrutiny of his campaign finances are not likely to fade any time soon.

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