Omar Navarro selfie with Tiffany Trump


Republican charged with misusing campaign funds blew money at Trump’s DC hotel to post selfies with the first ladies of MAGA

He also spent money on Vegas vacations, fancy dinners, and Nintendo Switch games


Marlon Ettinger


Posted on Sep 27, 2023   Updated on Sep 27, 2023, 6:56 pm CDT

Omar Navarro, a four-time Republican candidate for Rep. Maxine Waters’ (D-Calif.) House seat, was charged on Sept. 14 for using tens of thousands of dollars worth of campaign finance funds to pay for a “lavish lifestyle,” including trips to Las Vegas, Nintendo Switch games, and fancy dinners. 

The grand jury indictment filed against him in a Central District of California court was unsealed by prosecutors today.

Navarro was also a fixture at the Trump International Hotel in D.C. during Trump’s presidential term, noted Forbes reporter Zach Everson on X, where Navarro “spent a ton of time” and posed with MAGA-world fixtures like Tiffany Trump, Katie Hopkins, Kaya Jones, and Brigitte Gabriel.

Before Navarro set up the alleged scheme and began running for a House seat for the past four election cycles, he filed for bankruptcy and claimed he was receiving $250 a month from his parents to stay afloat, according to the indictment.

From 2018 to 2020, the indictment alleges, Navarro deposited nearly $120,000 into his personal accounts despite having “no source of outside employment or income.”

Navarro “fund[ed] his lavish lifestyle” by making campaign payments to various individuals, including his mother Dora Asghari, and a friend, Zacharias Diamantides-Abel, who would cash the campaign checks then transfer cash back to him for “his personal use and enjoyment, including luxury expenses,” the indictment claimed.

From December 2017 to June 2020, Abel received $49,260 from the campaign, while Navarro’s mother got $39,650, the indictment claims.

Navarro set up a fictitious company, ON Strategic Marketing, and a faux non-profit, the United Latino Foundation, which served as conduits for the funds into Navarro’s pockets, the indictment alleges. Navarro’s mother also set up a fictitious consulting company, Brava Consulting, which received nearly $19,000 in campaign funds from March 2019 to June 2020. 

Navarro sent a text message to his friend Abel in January 2018, saying that if he wanted to make some money, “reach out.” Abel then deposited a check with a reference in the memo line to “office work/phone calls” at a Torrance, California bank, before withdrawing some of the money as cash and giving it to Navarro, the indictment claims.

The pattern repeated with Navarro’s mother and other individuals mentioned in the indictment, and Navarro used the money for all sorts of personal expenses. During one Dec. 2, 2018 trip to Target, Navarro bought a gift card which he later used to buy groceries, toilet paper, and two Nintendo Switch games. 

On New Year’s Eve 2018, Navarro spent almost $600 on a social party at Hermosa Beach House. He also spent over $2,500 in campaign funds on a vacation to the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas with his girlfriend, according to the indictment.

When his relationship ended with the girlfriend, Navarro paid a private investigator $750 to surveil his ex-girlfriend. In his FEC filings, he called the expense “opposition research,” according to the indictment. Navarro was later convicted of one felony count of stalking against the ex-girlfriend, as well as a misdemeanor count of making criminal threats.

According to Everson, the Forbes reporter, Navarro spent more than $11,000 in Trump properties while running against Maxine Waters in 2018.

“Yes I had many great events at @TrumpGolfLA, @TrumpDC, @TrumpLasVegas & @TrumpNewYork,” Navarro said in a 2019 post on X.

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*First Published: Sep 27, 2023, 6:55 pm CDT