Longtime Santos treasurer is out, she tells federal regulator

Campaigns must have treasurers in order to accept donations, make disbursements and file mandated reports with the FEC. Tuesday is the deadline for campaigns to file year-end reports, which cover the period from late November through Dec. 31. Santos’ campaign had not yet filed his as of Tuesday afternoon, although his campaign has until midnight to do so.

Despite telling the FEC she had resigned from each of Santos’ affiliated committees effective Jan. 25, Marks was still listed as the treasurer on the termination report for a joint fundraising committee for Santos and Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-Texas) that bore her electronic signature dated Jan. 30. She was also on a year-end report for a recount committee Santos had formed in 2020.

Santos’ campaign finances have come under intense scrutiny in the past month after the congressman was caught faking much of his biography. Campaign finance complaints with the FEC have alleged that over $700,000 Santos initially reported as a personal loan to his campaign— despite a checkered personal financial history — may have actually represented an illegal straw donor scheme.

The New York congressman’s campaign also reported a series of improbable expenses, including dozens supposedly costing $199.99 — just one cent below the threshold that would require the campaign to keep receipts. As treasurer, Marks signed the forms reporting those expenses and the personal loans, although an amended filing last week no longer included a checked box indicating that money had come from Santos’ personal funds.

Santos has not been charged with a crime or faced enforcement action from the campaign finance regulator, although he is being investigated by local and federal prosecutors. The Washington Post reported last week that the Department of Justice asked the FEC to hold off on enforcement action against Santos as the department pursues its own probe.

Santos, who said Tuesday he would step aside from his committee assignments, dismissed questions about his FEC filings last week, telling reports in Washington he “[did] not touch any of [his] FEC stuff.”