The Federal Election Commission recently ordered former United States Senator John Edwards to repay $2.3 million to the government after an audit found his 2008 campaign was given an overabundance of federal matching funds.
Federal matching funds are financed by taxpayers who authorize a $3 donation by checking a box on their tax forms, according to USA Today.
The Christian Science Monitor explains that candidates' committees are permitted to use federal money to pay off campaign expenses after private contributions have been exhausted. However, an accounts payable audit determined that the John Edwards for President committee's financial statements were overstated by $4.5 million.
The Edwards campaign was ordered to repay $2.1 million of the nearly $13 million worth of matching funds it was awarded, in addition to nearly $140,000 in refunds to individual contributors.
Last month, Edwards was indicted on six counts of violating campaign finance laws, lying to the government and conspiring to protect his candidacy by breaking the law when he accepted nearly $1 million to keep his pregnant mistress – and eventually his daughter – hidden for the duration of his candidacy.