Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

IRS gets anonymous complaint about Ray Sansom's spending

State Rep. Ray Sansom's lavish use of his Republican Party-issued credit card has triggered a complaint to the IRS.

A complaint was filled out anonymously and a copy was provided to the Times/Herald on Monday, alleging Sansom violated tax law by using party funds for personal items such as plane tickets to Europe for his family and not declaring it as income.

The complaint also alleges political corruption and suggests the Internal Revenue Service investigate other GOP officials who had American Express cards.

An IRS spokesman said the agency does not confirm or deny investigations but said anonymous complaints can be filed using form 3949 A.

"Generally speaking, getting something for nothing could have a tax effect," spokesman Mike Dobzinski said.

The Times/Herald previously reported that the FBI was looking at some aspect of the case and the IRS is generally brought on board in such matters.

Sansom, R-Destin, shows other income on his 2008 tax return, but it is unclear what that represents. His brother Randy, an accountant who prepared his return, has not returned calls seeking comment.

The lawmaker charged more than $170,000 on the card in the two years he oversaw the House election efforts. Some of it can seemingly be explained, but there are also charges for items at Cole Haan, Coach, Kenneth Cole and travel for his family.

The sheer scope of spending, including $839 at Starbucks and nearly $9,000 for flowers, has outraged political donors and sent the Republican Party into damage control over the weekend.

Chairman Jim Greer announced he was taking cards away from all officials and, for effect, cut his own card in front of a crowd Saturday in Orlando. He has refused calls, however, to release statements showing spending by other party officials.

Sansom asserted to his local newspaper, the Northwest Florida Daily News, that his spending was in line with other officials who had cards.

Sansom's credit card statements were released as part of the criminal case against him. He is facing felony charges over securing $6 million in taxpayer money for an airport building that a developer and campaign contributor allegedly wanted to use to store airplanes.

Sansom got the money and millions more for Northwest Florida State College, which hired him to a $110,00-a-year job on the same day last November that he was sworn in as House speaker — a position he was forced out of amid criminal and ethical investigations.

A review of campaign finance data shows Sansom did not reimburse the party for any expenses during the time he held the credit card.

During the same time period Sansom was spending freely, developer Jay Odom was making large contributions to the party. Odom, who has been indicted along with Sansom in the alleged airport scheme, gave $100,000 on Dec. 31, 2007, and $178,950.42 on March 5, 2008, according to the Division of Elections.

Times/Herald staff writer Steve Bousquet contributed to this report. Alex Leary can be reached at leary@sptimes.com.

IRS gets anonymous complaint about Ray Sansom's spending 08/24/09 [Last modified: Thursday, May 6, 2010 6:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tom Jones' Two Cents: ABC's Indy 500 coverage is stellar again

    TV and Radio

    Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Takuma Sato left, celebrates after winning the Indianapolis 500 as Helio Castroneves is a little late passing him. ABC’s coverage of the race is stellar throughout, with plenty of extras but no fake drama.
  2. Takuma Sato surprise winner of wreck-filled Indy 500

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Takuma Sato, a journeyman driver, became the first Japanese winner of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday when he held off three-time champion Helio Castroneves in a 230-mph wheel-rubbing duel to the finish.

    Scott Dixon’s car goes over the top of Jay Howard, soaring so high that Helio Castroneves drove under it while it was airborne. Stunningly, there were no serious injuries.
  3. South Korea military: North Korea fires unidentified projectile

    World

    SEOUL — North Korea launched a ballistic missile early today that flew 280 miles and landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone, the South Korean military and the Japanese government said.

    S. Korean President Moon Jae-in is assessing the launch.
  4. Rays blow lead, rally, blow lead, rally again to beat Twins in 15 (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Rays sure made it interesting Sunday, taking an early lead, watching their beleaguered bullpen blow it, rallying to tie in the ninth, battling the Twins to take a lead in the 14th then giving it up again.

    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 28: Evan Longoria #3 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates scoring a run against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game on May 28, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) 700010990
  5. Marijuana extract sharply cuts seizures in severe form of epilepsy

    Medicine

    An oil derived from the marijuana plant sharply reduces violent seizures in young people suffering from a rare, severe form of epilepsy, according to a study published last week that gives more hope to parents who have been clamoring for access to the medication.