FEC threatens Rep. Lauren Boebert with legal action after she made Venmo rent payments from her campaign account
FEC filings detail that Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert used campaign funds to pay rent and utilities via Venmo.
Her campaign says she reimbursed all of the $6,650 spent by her campaign and that it was an error.
The FEC says Boebert could still face “further legal action” and needs to provide more information.
Freshman Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado may face further legal action from the Federal Election Commission after she used campaign funds for a series of rent and utility payments totalling $6,250.
The FEC filings for Boebert’s campaign detail a series of Venmo payments at the beginning of May and June of this year made to Jon Pacheco, whose address is listed as 120 E 3rd St, Rifle, CO – the same property in the western Colorado town where Boebert’s “Shooter’s Grill” restaurant is located.
A campaign spokesman confirmed to Forbes on Wednesday that the payments were in fact “personal expenses.”
In an initial report filed with the FEC in July, each Venmo payment included a note that said “personal expense of Lauren Boebert billed to campaign account in error. Expense has been reimbursed” but did not specify who the payments had been made to. In an updated report filed on Tuesday, Boebert included Pacheco’s name and specified that the payments were for $2,000 monthly rent and as well as $1,325 for each month’s “rent/utilities.”
The FEC sent a letter to Boebert’s campaign in August flagging the issue, asking Boebert to amend her campaign’s reports and to disclose Boebert’s reimbursement on an upcoming October report. “If it is determined that the disbursement(s) constitutes the personal use of campaign funds, the Commission may consider taking further legal action,” the letter said. “However, prompt action to obtain reimbursement of the funds in question will be taken into consideration.”
A spokesperson for the FEC declined to comment specifically on Boebert’s case, but said that campaigns can still face legal action for use of personal funds even if they are reimbursed.
This is not Rep. Boebert’s first time failing to comply with ethics and disclosure requirements for members of Congress.
Boebert previously failed to disclose her husband’s nearly $1 million earnings from energy sector consulting during her campaign last year, only revealing her financial interest in a major industry in her Colorado district in financial disclosure forms filed with the House clerk in August.
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