A complaint has been lodged by an anonymous person to the IRS over the exorbitant spending of State Rep. and former House speaker Ray Sansom (R – Destin) using the credit card issued by the Republican party. These expenses had little to do with party matters and included flight fares to Europe for his family using party funds which he did not declare as income. The complaint, made public to the Herald/Times also allege that Sansom had violated tax laws by doing so and also suggested the IRS investigate other officials in the Republican party.
Some of his expenses include $839 at Starbucks and $9,000 worth of flowers besides expenses for items at Cole Haan, Coach and Kenneth Cole, all part of about $170,000 he spent over 2 years that he oversaw the House election efforts. Understandably, these expenses have infuriated some political donors to the Republican party.
The complaint has drawn frantic reassurances from the Florida Republican party that they are doing the necessary to curb such abuses. Party chairman Jim Greer held a gathering in Orlando last Saturday in which he told the crowd that all party-issued credit cards will be withdrawn from party officials and went to the extent of cutting up his own credit card in front of the audience. However, calls for him to reveal the spending of other officials were declined.
As for Sansom, his credit card statements were released as part of the criminal investigations against him. Upon checking with the campaign finance records, it was shown that Sansom did not reimburse the GOP for any expenses during the entire time he used his credit card.
But the case against Sansom does not end with credit card abuse. He is also facing felony charges over $6 million in taxpayer’s money he obtained for building an airport that a developer and campaign donor allegedly wanted to use for storing airplanes. Sansom secured the money from Northwest Florida State College. The college also gave him a $110,000 a year job last November, the same time as he was sworn in as House speaker. He subsequently relinquished this position when criminal investigations were commenced against him.
Amidst all the accusations, Sansom told the Northwest Florida Daily News that he had not spent any differently from any of the other credit card-holding officials in his party.
In cases such as these, the FBI will investigate in collaboration with the IRS.
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Law Offices of Darrin T. Mish, P.A.: Tax Attorney