April 1, 2023

GRIFTERS GRIFTED: Election denying GOP lawmakers fleeced by tech thieves

GRIFTERS GRIFTED: Election denying GOP lawmakers fleeced by tech thieves

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Several Republican legislators have been the target of cyber thieves who have racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraudulent charges on their dime, with Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) being one of the latest GOP politicians to be targeted by identity thieves.

The  Friends of Matt Gaetz committee filed an 80-page report with the FEC on Tuesday refuting hundreds of dollars of suspicious charges racked up on the congressman’s campaign card.

“The committee discovered a series of charges on the campaign card that they believe to be fraudulent and disputed these charges with the card provider,” the filing states.

According to the records, a total of $362.04 was spent with the technology giant Apple – but the America First representative wasn’t the only Republican legislator to be targeted by tech-savvy online thieves.

Less than two weeks ago Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) announced his campaign was taken for nearly $700,000, NBC News reported.

In a December filing, the treasurer for Moran for Congres – Timothy Gottschalk – reported to the Federal Elections Commission that two suspicious invoices showed fraudulent wire transfers in the amount of $345,000 each that occurred on October 25th and November 9th.

The most recent transaction occurred the day after the midterm election.

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“This writing is our notification of fraudulent activity by a third-party cyber-criminal in the post-general 2022 election reporting for Moran for Kansas,” Gottschalk wrote.

“On November 14, 2022, our office was contacted by Astra Bank to notify us of potentially fraudulent activity concerning recent wire transfers to SRCP Media, Inc. After communications with staff, it was determined that two wires were sent for payment of fraudulent invoices. One wire was sent on October 25, 2022, for $345,000.00, and a second wire on November 9, 2022, for $345,000.00. For a total of $690,000.00.”

On January 23rd, Rep. Neal Dunn’s (R-FL) Friends of Neal Dunn campaign alerted Brian Buhr of the FEC’s Report Analysis Division of $11,000 in unauthorized charges, citing a check-fraud scam discovered shortly after the congressman’s reelection in November 2022.

“After an internal review, it was determined that the committee was victimized by an external check fraud situation,” said Caleb Crosby, the Dunn campaign Treasurer.

Not unlike his party and chamber colleague Gaetz, Dunn has been marred in controversy.

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As the chair of the board for Summit Bank, Dunn has been accused of conflicts of interest for his position in the legislature and calls for bank deregulation.

While Senate members are barred from sitting on a corporate board of directors for this exact reason – the House has no such regulation.

However, Rep. Dunn’s disclosure of receiving $72,000 in 2017 in stock options and Director compensation is a clear violation of House rules.

Rep. Gaetz has been the subject of a Justice Department sex-trafficking investigation that led to the recent conviction of his former friend and reported “wing-man” Joel Greenberg, as part of a plea deal with federal investigators.

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The Republican Party has become synonymous with grift, and it appears some are getting a taste of their own medicine.

Gaetz, Moran, and Dunn are all Trump loyalists.

Representatives Gaetz and Moran both objected to the certification of President-Elect Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory – and Moran’s 2022 reelection campaign was endorsed by the former President.

Birds of a feather, apparently get grifted together.

Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick

Ty Ross

News journalist for Washington Press and Occupy Democrats.

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