Report: Santos Campaign Accepted Donation From Foreign National

A new report indicates Rep. George Santos accepted campaign donations from a foreign national, which is illegal.
Rep. George Santos (R-NY)

Report from The Daily Beast shows Rep. George Santos (R-NY) accepted what looks to be an illegal donation in September 2022 from a foreign national named Rocco Oppedisano.

Note – it’s illegal to accept campaign donations from foreign nationals. Period.

Also, in 2019, Oppedisano was caught trying to smuggle undocumented immigrants into the U.S. from the Bahamas despite having been expelled from the country in January 2019.

When stopped by the Coast Guard, he initially claimed no one was aboard. But when Customs and Border Patrol agents searched the yacht more than 14 undocumented migrants were found plus $200,000 hidden in the walls of the bedroom.

Oppedisano was charged with smuggling the immigrants and trying to re-enter the U.S. illegally. As part of a plea agreement, he eventually pleaded guilty just the smuggling.

Oh, and that same man is related to some of Santos’s closest local supporters and campaign vendors.

From The Daily Beast:

The gift from Rocco Oppedisano—expelled from the U.S. in January 2019, and who was subsequently intercepted piloting a yacht packed with unauthorized migrants and $200,000 in cash toward Florida—was just one facet of the support the freshman Republican and immigration hardliner received from the Queens-based clan that controls upscale eatery Il Bacco.

Santos has been unabashed about his affection for the restaurant and his affinity for its owners, Rocco Oppedisano’s brother Joseph and niece Tina.

The campaign, already known for its suspect money maneuvers, also spent $25,443.64 at Il Bacco since the Republican launched his first run for his Long Island-Queens seat in 2020, according to federal campaign finance records. The campaign further reported owing Il Bacco $18,773.54 for its election night party in November.

Santos’s campaign filed numerous expenditures at Il Bacco at the low, low price of $199.99 – exactly one cent below the threshold that would require the campaign to retain a receipt/documentation of the transaction.

Related: Santos Campaign Spending Raises Eye Brows

There is, of course, much more. Read the full report here.