Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Campaign May Have Illegally Paid Her Boyfriend Through PAC During Congressional Race, Claims GOP Group

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's campaign may have illegally paid her boyfriend through a political action committee after she launched her congressional bid, a conservative activist group has alleged in a new complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission.

In its complaint, the Coolidge Reagan Foundation alleged that the Brand New Congress PAC paid Ocasio-Cortez's boyfriend, Riley Roberts, as a "marketing consultant" after the PAC was hired by Ocasio-Cortez's campaign. It alleged that Brand New Congress initially paid Roberts $3,000 on August 9, 2017.

"Less than three weeks later, on August 27, 2017, Cortez, Cortez's campaign committee paid Brand New Congress LLC $6,191.32 for 'strategic consulting,'" the foundation added.

The foundation alleged that in the following month, Brand New Congress paid Roberts another $3,000, again, calling him a "marketing consultant."

Both of the payments were reported in the PAC's Year-end 2017 report to the FEC, which was filed on January 31, 2018.

"Thus, over the span of a little more than a month, Cortez's campaign committee paid just over $6,000 to Brand New Congress PAC, while its affiliated LLC turned around and paid her boyfriend $6,000," the Coolidge Reagan Foundation stated.

The foundation argued that Ocasio-Cortez's campaign may have violated campaign finance law given "the timing and amounts of these transactions, the use of two affiliated entities as intermediaries, the vague and amorphous nature of the services Riley ostensibly provided, the magnitude of these transactions compared to both the limited funds the campaign had raised at the time and the total amount of its expenditures, and the romantic relationship between Ocasio-Cortez and Riley.

"On information and belief, the amount paid to Riley was either not provided as consideration for bona fide services or exceeded the fair market value of any legitimate services Riley provided," the Coolidge Reagan Foundation said. "On information and belief, the true intent of the payment to Riley was to provide personal benefit to a boyfriend, rather than defray bona fide campaign expenses."

Ocasio-Cortez's office did not immediately responded to a request for comment from Newsweek.

Brand New Congress has denied any wrongdoing, telling Fox News, which first reported the story: "[Roberts] is a professional digital marketing and growth consultant who specializes in social media presence and subscriber engagement.

"He was hired through a two-month trial period, beginning on August 3, 2017, and worked through the end of September 2017," a spokesperson for the PAC, which has not immediately responded to a request for comment from Newsweek, said.

The PAC said the services Roberts provided "consisted of advertising strategies for potential growth, developing metrics, and aiding in execution of strategy to increase brand awareness for the PAC as a whole."

A January Marie Claire story on Roberts described him as head of marketing at HomeBinder.com, a service that helps people manage maintenance on their homes. A LinkedIn profile appearing to belong to Roberts still lists the job as his current role. According to the Marie Claire story, Riley has also worked as a consultant to tech start-ups. helping them with marketing and development strategies to increase revenue.

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Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat, waits to hear testimony from Michael Cohen, former attorney and fixer to President Donald Trump before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Capitol Hill on February 27. A conservative activist group alleged that Ocasio-Cortez's campaign might have violated campaign finance laws by paying her partner through a political action committee. Chip Somodevilla/Getty