The Coolidge Reagan Foundation filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on Wednesday alleging that socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) may have illegally funneled money to her boyfriend through an allied PAC.
Fox News reports that the group alleges “in their complaint that when the Brand New Congress PAC (BNC) — a political arm of Brand New Congress LLC, a company that was hired by Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., to run and support her campaign — paid Roberts for marketing services, it potentially ran afoul of campaign finance law.”
The complaint highlighted a report from earlier in February by Luke Thompson, who “published an article entitled ‘The Congresswoman Loves the Swamp. Her Wealthy Chief of Staff Used a PAC to Pay Her Boyfriend,’ on Medium, which parses FEC records to reveal evidence Ocasio-Cortez funneled money from her official campaign account to her boyfriend, Riley Roberts.”
The complaint added: “The timing and amounts of these transactions, the use of two affiliated entities as intermediaries, the vague and amorphous nature of the services Riley ostensibly provided, the magnitude of these transactions compared to both the limited funds the campaign had raised at the time and the total amount of its expenditures, and the romantic relationship between Ocasio-Cortez and Riley collectively establish reason to believe these transactions may have violated campaign finance law.”
The Coolidge Reagan Foundation noted in the complaint the following two campaign finance laws they believe are pertinent to the allegations:
52 U.S.C. § 30114(b)(1) provides campaign contributions “shall not be converted by any person to personal use.”
52 U.S.C. § 30104(b)(6) provides an authorized committee must report “the name and address of each person who has received any disbursement not disclosed” as an expenditure, if it totals more than $200 within an election cycle.
In reference to 52 U.S.C. § 30114(b)(1), the complaint stated:
Ocasio-Cortez converted official funds raised through contributions to her candidate committee to personal use by transferring a total of $6,191.32 from her campaign committee to Brand New Congress PAC in late August and September 2017, which contemporaneously had its affiliated LLC pay $6,000 to her boyfriend, Riley. On information and belief, the amount paid to Riley was either not provided as consideration for bona fide services or exceeded the fair market value of any legitimate servicesRiley provided. On information and belief, the true intent of the payment to Riley was to provide personal benefit to a boyfriend, rather than defray bona fide campaign expenses.
In reference to 52 U.S.C. § 30104(b)(6), the complaint stated:
In an attempt to mask the payment of official campaign funds to her boyfriend, Ocasio-Cortez instead laundered them through intermediaries Brand New Congress PAC and Brand New Congress LLC. Ocasio-Cortez incorrectly reported a payment of $6,191.32 to Brand New Congress LLC on August 27, 2017, for strategic consulting, rather than correctly characterizing the underlying payment of $6,000 to Robert Riley.
When the allegations first surfaced, Ocasio-Cortez responded on Twitter, writing: “The conspiracy machine is in full effect & it’s been disappointing to watch professionals get duped + amplify unvetted Medium posts as truth, treating journalism like it’s a high school Livejournal rumor mill or something. No, I don’t shadily pay my boyfriend. Come on & VET.”
The conspiracy machine is in full effect & it’s been disappointing to watch professionals get duped + amplify unvetted Medium posts as truth, treating journalism like it’s a high school Livejournal rumor mill or something.
No, I don’t shadily pay my boyfriend. Come on & VET. https://t.co/EY28Elj6aG
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC)