SE Texas Record

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Ethics watchdog calls for probe of Sri Preston Kulkarni, says U.S. House candidate failed to disclose accurate financial report

Campaigns & Elections

By David Yates | Aug 15, 2019

WASHINGTON - The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, a non-partisan ethics watchdog, has filed a complaint with the U.S. House Committee on Ethics requesting an investigation into Sri Preston Kulkarni, a Democrat running for Texas’  22nd congressional district, for failing to file a “true, complete and correct” Financial Disclosure Report as required by federal law.

On his 2019 financial disclosure report, Kulkarni listed no assets and only $6,000 in income while also listing a large amount of debt, including over $10,000 in credit card debt and between $50,000 and $100,000 in student loan debt. 

A spokesperson for the Kulkarni campaign previously told The Record that Kulkarni is “relying on savings while he runs this campaign.” 

FACT’s complaint, filed Aug. 15, states that due to the campaign’s contradictory statements regarding his assets, Kulkarni is in clear  violation of federal campaign disclosure laws.

Federal law 5 U.S.C. App. 4 § 101(c) requires congressional candidates to file a personal financial disclosure report listing all assets with a value greater than $1,000 including real property, stocks, bonds, and personal bank accounts. Failure to file a complete and accurate report could result in fines of up to $50,000 and imprisonment.

“The Kulkarni campaign’s own contradictory statement about the candidate’s assets, along with his apparent prior omissions, warrants an immediate investigation," said Kendra  Arnold, executive director for Fact. "The disclosure law is the only mechanism for voters to assess conflicts of interest and any violation is serious.”  

The complaint further states that this is not the first time Kulkarni has violated campaign finance laws. 

On his 2018 personal financial disclosure report, he failed to disclose student loan debt incurred in 2016.

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