Texas Democrat Fails to Properly Disclose Finances

Democrat House candidate Michelle Vallejo failed to include hundreds of thousands of dollars on her legally required Financial Disclosure Report. She is running for Congress in the 15th House district in Texas.

Vallejo reportedly left more than $200,000 in owned assets off of her initial disclosure filed with the federal government in February. The form requires candidates to affirm that all information provided is “true, complete, and correct” to the best of their knowledge and belief.

When reporters with Roll Call raised questions about two loans she personally made to her campaign, she amended her disclosure on July 28. The loans were both for $50,000.

Candidates for the House of Representatives are required to file official Financial Disclosure Statements with the House Clerk according to the Ethics in Government Act of 1978.

Vallejo’s amended report lists five assets that she failed to include in her first report. The assets include a joint money market account with a value between $100,000 and $250,000 as well as two bank accounts with values between $1,000 and $15,000.

She also failed to list a 49% ownership stake she holds in a business named Pulga Los Portales, which is valued between $100,000 and $250,000.

The amended report adds assets worth between $218,000 and $595,000, while her initial report only disclosed total assets worth between $15,000 and $50,000.

The disclosure ethics law authorizes the U.S. attorney general to seek civil penalties of up to $50,000 against someone who “knowingly and willfully falsifies or fails to file or to report any required information.”

Federal criminal statutes make providing false information or concealing material facts knowingly and willingly a crime that carries maximum punishment of five years imprisonment and fines up to $50,000.

Vallejo spokesperson Kirby Chandler told reporters that the “additional information” in the amended report was “inadvertently left off the original filing.”

Vallejo is set to face off with Republican nominee Monica De La Cruz for the 15th district seat in the November general election. The district runs from suburban San Antonio to the Rio Grande border with Mexico.

Incumbent 15th district Rep. Vicente Gonzalez Jr. (D-TX) is running this year for a seat in the neighboring Texas 34th district. Rep. Mayra Flores (R-TX) was elected to represent the 34th district in a special election in June and is the first GOP representative for the district in more than 140 years.