U.S.A. Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson spent $30K in campaign funds on ‘skincare enthusiast’ in one year: report

Dead2009

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Chicago's progressive mayor Brandon Johnson spent a jaw-dropping $30,000 in campaign finance funds on personal grooming since launching his bid for office, according to a report.

Johnson used the money his supporters contributed to his Friends of Brandon Johnson campaign fund to pay for makeup and hair appointments, The Chicago Sun Times reported.

Nearly all of the money went to makeup artist and "skincare enthusiast" Denise Milloy, who operates Makeup Majic from a home in the south side, according to a campaign finance report.

Between 2023 and 2024 he made more than 30 payments to the business.

Before he was elected in April 2023, the payments were listed as "Candidate makeup for TV" or "Makeup retainer" — however since becoming mayor the makeup payments were only vaguely declared as "event expenses," according to the newspaper.

Milloy told the Sun Times she's "not at liberty" to discuss work or the money from Johnson's campaign.

Johnson's campaign spokesperson had previously boasted how a majority of the mayor's campaign contributions came from "working class people" and from labor unions, who funneled cash into his progressive campaign.
 

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Sounds like small scale money laundering to me. We saw it plenty of times in Baltimore, it always starts off as “little” expenses like so, and before you know it… they’re stealing gift cards from the poor, using their 401k to purchase vacation homes under the pretense of financial hardship, or laundering money through their children’s book.
 

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Sounds like small scale money laundering to me. We saw it plenty of times in Baltimore, it always starts off as “little” expenses like so, and before you know it… they’re stealing gift cards from the poor, using their 401k to purchase vacation homes under the pretense of financial hardship, or laundering money through their children’s book.

Let's not forget how they tried to run for mayor....TWICE after being caught stealing those gift cards and lost both times.
 

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Let's not forget how they tried to run for mayor....TWICE after being caught stealing those gift cards and lost both times.

Yeah, but that clown is lucky she got a one line mention from me, I’ll be damned if I waste my time and everyone else’s chronicling her bullshittery.
 

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One time I asked for recommendations on books on Chicago politics. Someone replied with an amazon link.

The link was to a spider identification guide. Best possible recommendation I could have gotten.
 
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I'll be honest, I could care less what politicians do with campaign funds. They could flush the money down the toilet for all I care. Actually that would be a better use of money. Reduce the amount of money in circulation, thus [slightly] reducing inflation (probably not), and the bribe money a bunch of rich fucks gave them is totally wasted.

Actually... wanna win an election? Give all your campaign money to the poor. Pay for the hours they miss by heading out to vote.
 

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I'll be honest, I could care less what politicians do with campaign funds. They could flush the money down the toilet for all I care. Actually that would be a better use of money. Reduce the amount of money in circulation, thus [slightly] reducing inflation (probably not), and the bribe money a bunch of rich fucks gave them is totally wasted.

Actually... wanna win an election? Give all your campaign money to the poor. Pay for the hours they miss by heading out to vote.
My only problem with it is tolerating that encourages grifters to run for office. Them wasting campaign donations is one thing, but what they do in office is another.
 

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I'll be honest, I could care less what politicians do with campaign funds. They could flush the money down the toilet for all I care. Actually that would be a better use of money. Reduce the amount of money in circulation, thus [slightly] reducing inflation (probably not), and the bribe money a bunch of rich fucks gave them is totally wasted.

Actually... wanna win an election? Give all your campaign money to the poor. Pay for the hours they miss by heading out to vote.

That would be seen as buying votes, though. Why do that when all you have to do is profit through deception? It requires less effort. I liken politicians to the pharmaceutical industry. A patient cured is a customer lost. Why fix the problems communities face when they can be capitalized upon for campaigning every cycle?

My only problem with it is tolerating that encourages grifters to run for office. Them wasting campaign donations is one thing, but what they do in office is another.

…wait, your politicians in Oregon aren’t grifters?
 

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The first thing that jumps out at me, is that nail/hair salons are always used as avenues for fraud. The amount of fucking SQUARE merchants I've seen using MCC 7230 that run fraudulent authorizations is high. I'd guess something about the nature of it being a largely at-home business model even before COVID just makes it easier for them to squeak through, when the address usually loops back to an derelict lot in the country.
 

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The first thing that jumps out at me, is that nail/hair salons are always used as avenues for fraud. The amount of fucking SQUARE merchants I've seen using MCC 7230 that run fraudulent authorizations is high. I'd guess something about the nature of it being a largely at-home business model even before COVID just makes it easier for them to squeak through, when the address usually loops back to an derelict lot in the country.

I’d assume that it’s because those businesses fall in line with the typical “laundering” theme… cash operated. Or, for the sake of today’s times, CashApp operated. It’s too bad that they don’t teach basic finances in high school… like all those OF models, YouTubers, and other social media influencers that ride that gravy train til they get that tax form in the mail.
 

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I’d assume that it’s because those businesses fall in line with the typical “laundering” theme… cash operated. Or, for the sake of today’s times, CashApp operated. It’s too bad that they don’t teach basic finances in high school… like all those OF models, YouTubers, and other social media influencers that ride that gravy train til they get that tax form in the mail.
I have no idea what kind of validation/Know-Your-Customer SQUARE and the like make 'merchants' go through to be onboarded. It should be rigorous, with checks against Dun & Bradstreet or similar to make sure they're a legit business and so on. If they do have any kind of KYC where they're critically evaluating things, my assumption is that it's way easier to claim you're a beauty salon and only need to own 1 hairbrush, than it is to claim you're a tow-truck company if you don't own any tow-trucks.

That round-about reminds me of a tow-truck company that had cards continually suspended for OnlyFans charges, even when we'd blocked authorizations from OF anyway. But every time we'd contact the owner and ask whether it was fraud, he'd just reply with "Nah, that was me. Please reactivate." Not an account-takeover situation either, dude just loved putting titties on his company corporate card... My assumption was always that he'd rather own up to subbing to OF to us rather than put it on his personal account and have to explain to his wife or something.
 

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I have no idea what kind of validation/Know-Your-Customer SQUARE and the like make 'merchants' go through to be onboarded. It should be rigorous, with checks against Dun & Bradstreet or similar to make sure they're a legit business and so on. If they do have any kind of KYC where they're critically evaluating things, my assumption is that it's way easier to claim you're a beauty salon and only need to own 1 hairbrush, than it is to claim you're a tow-truck company if you don't own any tow-trucks.

Dude, I used to buy weed from a guy that had a chip reader from Square a few years ago. If they are scrutinizing their merchants like that, it’s a newish thing. I knew dudes that did everything from mobile barber services to tree trimming that used that and other services. I suppose as long as the vendor is getting their cut and paying their taxes, it might only come up when the IRS comes knocking… which is why apps like CashApp have forced identity verification in recent years.

That round-about reminds me of a tow-truck company that had cards continually suspended for OnlyFans charges, even when we'd blocked authorizations from OF anyway. But every time we'd contact the owner and ask whether it was fraud, he'd just reply with "Nah, that was me. Please reactivate." Not an account-takeover situation either, dude just loved putting titties on his company corporate card... My assumption was always that he'd rather own up to subbing to OF to us rather than put it on his personal account and have to explain to his wife or something.

Ah, the ol’ lonely tow truck operator with a company card. The bane of my existence as a senior agent. There ain’t nothing like shadowing a new hire and fueling them up with your card for 90 days only to end up terminating them for misuse of company funds before the first statement hits the mailbox after they get their own.
 

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Dude, I used to buy weed from a guy that had a chip reader from Square a few years ago. If they are scrutinizing their merchants like that, it’s a newish thing. I knew dudes that did everything from mobile barber services to tree trimming that used that and other services. I suppose as long as the vendor is getting their cut and paying their taxes, it might only come up when the IRS comes knocking… which is why apps like CashApp have forced identity verification in recent years.
Oh, for sure. I feel like those SQUARE readers that'd plug into the top of an iPhone or whatever were just the first foray into what Venmo, CashApp, etc. snowballed into. It probably just became cheaper for those companies to build out infrastructure to accept payments account-to-account rather than having to build/ship something to read a magstripe or NFC chip. I had a girlfriend almost a decade ago who sold weed, and used one of those white SQUARE plugins. I'm 99% sure she received it for craft/sewing gig she did, too, and just started using it to accept weed money. Definitely not on the up and up considering that was all supposed to be cash back in the day, but who the fuck ever followed those laws? I guess they still do enforce it to some degree, but it now feels like it's more "you can't buy weed on credit" and not that it actually has to be paper cash. She's since opened a full-on dispensary with a storefront, though, as opposed to her laundry room.

I think those kind of services, that set you up as an actual merchant tied to a Merchant Category Code (MCC), have to at least ask what kinda gig you've got going. Whether they have absolutely anyone chasing them down to verify that they're legit or not, I'd be doubtful.

Ah, the ol’ lonely tow truck operator with a company card. The bane of my existence as a senior agent. There ain’t nothing like shadowing a new hire and fueling them up with your card for 90 days only to end up terminating them for misuse of company funds before the first statement hits the mailbox after they get their own.
That sure sounds like it plays to the tune of "trucking company submits dispute claiming $12,294 in fraud, which coincidentally happened at the station the driver always uses, buuuuut they also don't want to press charges should the perpetrator be ID'd." Which happens, a lot.
 

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Oh, for sure. I feel like those SQUARE readers that'd plug into the top of an iPhone or whatever were just the first foray into what Venmo, CashApp, etc. snowballed into. It probably just became cheaper for those companies to build out infrastructure to accept payments account-to-account rather than having to build/ship something to read a magstripe or NFC chip. I had a girlfriend almost a decade ago who sold weed, and used one of those white SQUARE plugins. I'm 99% sure she received it for craft/sewing gig she did, too, and just started using it to accept weed money. Definitely not on the up and up considering that was all supposed to be cash back in the day, but who the fuck ever followed those laws? I guess they still do enforce it to some degree, but it now feels like it's more "you can't buy weed on credit" and not that it actually has to be paper cash. She's since opened a full-on dispensary with a storefront, though, as opposed to her laundry room.

I think those kind of services, that set you up as an actual merchant tied to a Merchant Category Code (MCC), have to at least ask what kinda gig you've got going. Whether they have absolutely anyone chasing them down to verify that they're legit or not, I'd be doubtful.

Considering I bought weed from a guy last year that said “shit, lemme make a new CashApp right quick” and had a new account to drop the money in in a matter of a few minutes, I’d assume not much has changed even with identity verification… at least on the user to user apps.

That sure sounds like it plays to the tune of "trucking company submits dispute claiming $12,294 in fraud, which coincidentally happened at the station the driver always uses, buuuuut they also don't want to press charges should the perpetrator be ID'd." Which happens, a lot.

Absolutely. The owner used Amex for our company cards, so it’s not like the resources weren’t there. It was just “easier” for him to make the senior agents fuel up the probies until they got their time in. It also gave us an opportunity to inspect their vehicle inspections before they went out, and to have pre-shift meetings. It wasn’t like it was a singular purpose, but it was definitely to accommodate laziness.
 
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