Ever since it was originally founded approximately one year ago, the Occupy Democrats newsletter was consistent in only one facet of its business; that was offering poorly legitimized information to its subscribers.
Regardless of how credible their information was though, through a plethora of reactionary posts, the company managed to amass a following of over 10 million. The majority of those people actively make monetary contributions to the group’s political action committee.
Democrats and money laundering: a match made in heaven
That may all be a thing of the past now. Investigations uncovered more than 25% of all the money they’d raised in the one-year period was deposited directly into a company owned by Occupy Democrats’ founders, the two brothers Omar and Rafael Rivero.
For those of you who’ve been following the Omar Rivero/Occupy Democrats big-money-for-shitty-memes drama: pic.twitter.com/wl7gR7HW3T
— 🇮🇷🤌🏼🐳 🇺🇦💉Hollaria Briden, Esq. (@HollyBriden) September 27, 2022
The data, procured by OpenSecrets, shows the group’s Election Fund raised a little over $795k this year alone.
Whereas the numbers from 2020 show they’d only spent $650k of the $1.08 million raised that year, leaving them with a $400k surplus at the start of the 2022 fiscal year.
As for their expenditures in 2022, which amounted to $1.17 million, $607k allegedly went towards their fundraising efforts, while another $300k was supposedly used for their media campaign. An exact $0 actually was being spent on contributions to federal candidates.
This means their entire fundraising scheme was created to pay for the “fundraising consultants” of the campaign. This ultimately turned out to be none other than the Rivero brothers themselves, creating massive social media backlash among the group’s followers on Twitter.
BREAKING:The founder of Occupy Democrats – who spent all the money people donated to his PAC on himself – speaks for us all. RT IF YOU AGREE!! pic.twitter.com/Xwif8PGyjj
— Nomadic Warriors for Pritzker⚔️ (@Nomads4Pritzker) September 27, 2022
Too late to cover it up now, amigos
Additionally, even though no money was spent on federal candidates for the upcoming election, a deep dive into their finances found $250k was paid out to Blue Deal LLC, a company founded and currently managed by Rafael.
When the story went public, thousands of Twitter users went on to attack the dynamic duo for their toxic business practice. After this, Omar Rivero accused anyone coming after them of not valuing what they were doing for their subscribers.
In a tweet deleted almost immediately after it was published on the platform, Omar declared their work would have been respected if people understood the amount of effort that goes into creating “viral memes” and content related to them.
I follow both Occupy Democrats and Omar Rivero.
I would like some answers. How are you helping candidates in this cycle if you are spending all the money on "Consultants".
Please clarify. Thank you. https://t.co/vPkSispzk1
— AntifaPuddin’Pop™️ A REAL AMERICAN PATRIOT! (@Andie00471) September 25, 2022
After a series of poor explanations as to why the money was funneled into a privately owned business, Rivero attempted to sell their subscribers on the idea the Election Fund was “legally prohibited” from donating directly to federal candidates.
However, company filings obtained by Lachlan Markay, the man who’d initially uncovered the scheme, show the ODEF actually operates as a “hybrid PAC,” rather than a “super PAC” as the brothers claim.
This means they do, in fact, have the ability to contribute to candidates, albeit through a segregated banking account.
Many prominent figures also chimed in on the discussion, including Governor DeSantis’ response director Christina Pushaw, who wondered what it took for someone to actually believe the business was legitimate, to begin with.
This article appeared in The Record Daily and has been published here with permission.