EXCLUSIVE: Former Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker's campaign shelled out hundreds of thousands of dollars last year to a defunct car wash owned by a donor.
Between March 18 and Dec. 5, amid a heated race to unseat incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., Walker's campaign arm Team Herschel wired 11 payments worth $595,606 to Jetts Car Wash, LLC, according to Federal Election Commission records. Other Walker-linked committees added nearly $270,000 in payments to the company during the midterm elections. Walker's unsuccessful campaign spent more on private jet travel than any other campaign during the 2022 midterm elections, a Fox News Digital review found.
Jetts Car Wash was a Kennesaw, Georgia, business initially formed in 2015, state filings reviewed by Fox News Digital show. The business' address was then switched a year later to a residential address in Powder Springs, Georgia, and registered to an individual named Thomas Huff. Property records show the new address belongs to Huff who, along with three relatives, gave maximum donations to Walker's campaign.
The car wash was ultimately dissolved in October after it failed to file the required registration information with state officials. However, Walker's campaign continued paying the business hundreds of thousands of dollars for "air charter" through December.
Huff told Fox News Digital that Walker's campaign had a "lease" but didn't elaborate on the details of such an arrangement and didn't comment on the payments to his dissolved car wash.
"I don't have any comment. You're just trying to stir something up and hurt someone that's a really good person," Huff said in a phone call before abruptly hanging up.
Huff had maxed out his donations to Walker's campaign months before the private jet payments to his car wash company began. On Oct. 18, 2021, he sent the maximum $2,900 contribution for the general election and $1,900 for the primary election, adding to the $1,000 he had given in September for the primary and bringing his total to $5,800. He also gave Walker's campaign $1,000 for "runoff" cash on Oct. 18.
And on the same day that Huff moved a bulk of his donations to Walker's campaign, Oct. 18, 2021, Huff's father, mother, and wife each sent maximum contributions of $2,900 for both the general and primary elections, totaling $17,400 between the relatives.
Mallory Blount, a spokesperson for Walker's campaign, referred Fox News Digital to campaign treasurer Salvatore Purpura. And in a brief phone interview, Purpura confirmed he was familiar with Jetts Car Wash and "definitely" knew Huff but declined to comment further. Earlier this month, the FEC warned Purpura in a letter that it had identified irregularities related to the Walker campaign's finances.
A series of other business entities — some active and many dissolved like Jetts Car Wash — have been registered to Huff's residential address in Powder Springs. Among those entities is a charter company named Aviation Development Group. Within the Walker donations, Huff lists his occupation as president of Aviation Development Group, while each of his relatives reports their occupation as 'business owner' of the company. All but one of the donations from Huff and his relatives (Huff's initial $1,000 primary donation from September 2021) contains a memo stating: "Attribution of contribution from eligible funds at Aviation Development Group, LLC."
Aviation Development Group operates a single Gulfstream IV aircraft, according to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) documents. The Gulfstream jet was formerly registered under a firm named JEGE, LLC, which had been owned by convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein before Huff purchased the firm and jet from Epstein in 2019.
Huff then sued Epstein's estate in 2021, demanding that the purchase be canceled because the jet and company had been "tainted" by Epstein's crimes, but the case was tossed by a federal judge in March. The Gulfstream wasn't the infamous "Lolita Express," a discontinued Boeing 727 that Epstein allegedly used to transport underage girls and high-profile celebrities to his properties.
FAA documents also show that the jet, which Fox News Digital confirmed was the same plane Huff purchased from Epstein and sued over, is technically operated by an Aviation Development Group based in Montana and registered by All Day $49 Montana Registered Agent, a company that specializes in registering companies for individuals "ensuring your personal information stays off public record."
Flight tracking data compiled by ADS-B Exchange shows the plane made frequent trips in and around Georgia throughout 2022.
The plane's trips also seemingly line up with some of the payments made by Team Herschel. For example, the campaign paid Jetts Car Wash $118,795 for "Air Charter 9-7" in September. On Sept. 7, the Gulfstream flew from Panama City, Florida, to Atlanta. The typical hourly rate for a mid-size jet is $3,000-4,000, according to U.S. charter firm Prive Jets.
Team Herschel's final payment to Jetts Car Wash was $195,890 on Dec. 5 and earmarked for "Air Charter 11-9 Thru 12-8," filings show. Between Nov. 9 and Dec. 8, the plane made multiple trips from Atlanta including one to the Bahamas just days before Walker's runoff election. While the plane was abroad, Walker was campaigning in Georgia, according to media reports.
Other Walker-linked committees also paid hundreds of thousands for private jet travel to Huff's car wash company. Team Herschel's People's Champion Committee, a joint fundraiser between his campaign and leadership PAC, the People's Champion PAC, disbursed $243,316 to Jetts between April 12, 2022, and September 9, 2022, filings show.
Another committee named 34N22, Inc. — which records show is not affiliated with any other committee but appears to be a play on his former football number, 34, and the election year, 2022 (34 in 22) — spent $25,474.87 on air travel with Jetts on Sept. 15. 34N22's filings show that it poured $6.8 million into independent expenditures during the midterm elections, including TV and digital advertisements, direct mail, and text messages, all of which benefited Walker.
The only other aircraft directly associated with Huff is a Dassault Falcon 10 registered under the firm DWTS, LLC which is based at his residential address. Flight records indicate the plane didn't make a single trip last year, though it is possible to request permission from federal authorities to block tracking data from public view.
There is also a Cessna Citation III jet registered under the company Avex Holdings Heli, Inc. in Delaware that appears to be linked to Huff. The plane makes frequent trips in and around Georgia. However, Fox News Digital couldn't confirm the plane belongs to Huff.
On Dec. 6, Walker was handily defeated in the runoff by Warnock, making him the sole Republican to lose a statewide election in Georgia last year. The defeat also handed Democrats a 51-49 majority in the Senate.
Overall, Walker's campaign spent by far the most money on private jet travel compared to every other campaign during the 2022 midterm election, according to election filings. The next highest spender was former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's, D-Calif., campaign which paid nearly $350,000 chartering flights.
Warnock, by comparison, paid $70,339 for private jet travel during the campaign.