Ethics Watchdog Calls for Probe of Sri Preston Kulkarni
FACT Says U.S. House Candidate Failed to Disclose Accurate Financial Report
Washington, D.C. August 15, 2019 —The non-partisan ethics watchdog, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), has filed a complaint today with the U.S. House Committee on Ethics requesting an investigation into candidate for Texas’ 22nd congressional district, Sri Preston Kulkarni, 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. In contrast to the report, the Kulkarni campaign stated that Kulkarni is “relying on savings while he runs this campaign.” FACT’s complaint points out 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. This disclosure law is the only mechanism for voters to assess conflicts of interest and any violation is serious,” said Kendra Arnold, Executive Director, Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT).
The complaint further notes 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.
A full copy of the complaint can be read here.
FACT is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas. For more on FACT, visit: http://www.factdc.org/.