It’s been mighty quiet from Kanye West ever since his presidential run crashed and burned — but while Yeezy’s been silent, the Federal Election Commission has been digging into his campaign and he could be in some legal trouble.
According to the Daily Beast, Kanye’s campaign accepted multiple donations from minors and possible contributions from foreign nationals, with his operation including some false names and addresses linked to drop-shipping facilities on the east and west coasts. Additionally, an investigation could be launched into his unlawful fundraising practices that accumulated almost $100,000 in small donations in 2021.
It’s unlawful to intentionally seek and take donations from people who are younger than 18. But as part of his campaign, Ye seemingly targeted teens and sold campaign merchandise on his site, which included $40 hats and $200 Kanye 2020 Vision hat/hoodie bundle. The price of those items has since risen on other online marketplaces.
Ian Bloom, a 16-year-old who donated to West’s presidential bid, told the outlet he spent $3,280 on Kanye merch, which he still hasn’t received in the mail. He ordered the gear from the campaign store in late January and was hoping to resell it online. “I don’t know what’s happening there,” Ian Bloom said. “I ordered like 20 hoodies off his campaign website, along with a lot of other people that I know. They said it would be three weeks, and after that I emailed the support team, and the email just wasn’t a thing.”
He shared a screenshot of an email he had sent to the campaign, which bounced and revealed his email address had been blocked. Bloom said that his next move was to dispute the charge with his credit card company, which is still under review.
Of the campaign’s 3,161 reported donations, students comprise over 1,200 of those donors, committing $349,160 in total, and contributing $26,540 in 2021 alone. Bloom stays in touch with other resellers on Discord, telling the Daily Beast, “I can say with confidence that at least half of us in the group have to be still in high school.” Two other high school teenagers told the outlet they had donated to West’s campaign in January and hadn’t received their items either.
Silly Kanye — just because Trump can get away with blatant campaign fraud doesn’t mean that you can.