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Even when candidates for office lose, they win. Before 1993, the money contributed to a political campaign could be and often was diverted to a candidate’s bank account. Retiring and defeated candidates could and did keep unused campaign contributions. Nowadays, the candidate with excess funds can spend it in other ways such as winding down his office, contributing to party committees, and supporting other candidates.
But there are more creative uses for leftover campaign funds. The defeated candidate can donate the money to a nonprofit charity, such as a foundation headed by a close relative. He can form a public agency or a nonprofit agency and funnel the money to it. Large amounts can then be spent on parties, gifts, and dues. He can channel funds to companies he controls, or employ his spouse to work at a campaign committee. Before the campaign is over, he might buy a Mercedes.
Originally posted by Choronzon
You get people who run for office simply to soak up funds of honest american citizens who want to make a difference in their country.
In cases such as these, i would consider that fraud.
Especially if those funds are funnelled into completely non-related organizations, or are redirected to the war-chest of a completely different candidate. Classic bait-and-switch.