Royce White accused of spending campaign funds on strip clubs, jewelry in FEC complaint

The Campaign Legal Center (CLC) has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against Minnesota Senate Republican candidate Royce White, saying he spent campaign funds on strip clubs and jewelry.

The nonpartisan watchdog stated in the complaint, filed Thursday, that Royce, a former NBA player, violated campaign finance law by converting campaign funds for personal use and that his campaign committees did not adhere to federal reporting requirements.

The watchdog said that White, who was endorsed by Minnesota’s GOP in May, misappropriated more than $157,000 from his 2022 House campaign committee to pay for personal expenses. The complaint alleges he took $100,000 using wire transfers, cash withdrawals and checks from the campaign’s account, and then used the money to make payments for fitness clubs, cosmetics, clothing, entertainment and other expenses.

“This outrageous pattern of personal enrichment and obfuscation violates the Federal Election Campaign Act’s (“FECA”) bedrock requirements that candidates must accurately disclose the contributions they receive and the disbursements they make, and cannot use campaign funds to pay for their personal expenses,” the group said in the complaint.

The CLC also accuses White of not reporting his campaign’s expenses in 2024.

The complaint comes after a report in The Daily Beast outlining that White appeared to have illegally spent thousands of dollars on his 2022 House run.

“Royce White appears to have brazenly violated the federal laws that foster transparency and accountability in our elections, by first using his 2022 campaign’s account to pay for personal expenses — including clothing, fitness, and entertainment charges, along with siphoning off a six-figure sum through checks and wire transfers — and then wholly failing to report his 2024 Senate campaign’s disbursements,” Saurav Ghosh, CLC’s director of federal campaign finance reform, said in a statement.

“It is imperative that the FEC investigate these apparent violations of the campaign finance laws that safeguard our elections from financial malfeasance,” he added.

White, who was picked in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft, would face incumbent Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) if he wins the GOP primary on Aug. 13.

Much of the complaint is related to White’s 2022 long-shot bid against Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).

CLC said that some of White’s expenses appear improper “even without more information” about their purpose.

“The facts in this matter support finding reason to believe that the aforementioned violations of FECA were knowing and willful, and that the treasurers of White’s two campaign committees should be held personally liable,” the complaint said.

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.