Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's campaign obscured thousands of dollars in expenditures during the 2022 election cycle, a nonprofit alleged in a recent Federal Election Commission complaint.
According to the complaint filed by attorney Dan Backer on behalf of the Coolidge Reagan Foundation, the New York Democrat failed to disclose where around $9,600 in credit card payments ultimately wound up, the Daily Caller News Foundation first reported.
Campaigns must itemize credit card charges to a vendor exceeding $200 in federal filings, including the vendor's name and address, the disbursement's purpose, the date of the services, and its amounts.
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"On numerous occasions throughout 2022, Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez's authorized candidate committee, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for Congress ("AOC for Congress"), reported tens of thousands of dollars of disbursements for card payments and card payment reimbursements to Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez herself; American Express; and an entity called ‘Veyond!,’ which appears to have provided virtual reality services and apparently no longer operates under that name," the complaint states.
Backer alleges that in some cases, the 'Squad' member's committee failed to disclose the card payments' purposes. He further says the sum of specific memo items is less than the amount the campaign reported paying the recipient.
"Although campaigns are permitted to use charge cards (or reimburse candidates for use of their personal charge cards) for otherwise permissible campaign-related expense, their disclosure reports must accurately identify both the recipient of those funds, as well as each of the campaign-related goods and services those charge cards were used to purchase," the complaint says.
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"Not only is the public entitled to that information, but without such disclosure, it is impossible to confirm a candidate is not illegally using campaign funds to pay personal expenses," the complaint continues.
Ocasio-Cortez's campaign, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the complaint, separately found itself in hot water over its failures and delays in paying vendors regarding her glitzy Met Gala appearance in 2021.
The House Ethics Committee opened an investigation into the matter last year. In March, the committee announced they had "substantial reason to believe" that Ocasio-Cortez improperly accepted gifts for the gala, which she attended with her fiancée, Riley Roberts.
"As part of her attendance, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez was provided with a couture dress, handbag, shoes, and jewelry," a House ethics report said. "She also received hair, makeup, transportation, and ready-room services."
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"Riley Roberts received a bowtie and shoes in advance of the event," the report said. "While Rep. Ocasio-Cortez appears to have now paid for the rental value of the attire she wore to the Met Gala and for the goods and services she and her partner received in connection with this September 2021 event, payment for these goods and services did not occur until after the OCE contacted her in connection with this review."
The ethics committee unanimously recommended the probe continue. Ocasio-Cortez, meanwhile, pinned the blame for the delayed payments on a campaign staffer.