The fiction of Ward 5 D.C. Council candidate Harry Thomas Jr.’s field-leading campaign war chest has been exposed in a July 26 response to an inquiry from the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance.

On paper, Thomas is the Ward 5 fundraising champ. According to his June 10 report, Thomas raised $49,545 and had $42,052 cash on hand. Thomas appeared to be leaving his rivals in the dust.

In a July 12 letter his Thomas’ campaign treasurer and wife, Diane Romo Thomas, OCF asked her to provide a little more information about the June 10 filing. “You report several in-kind contributions, but you failed to report these as expenditures,” the office wrote, reminding the campaign that all in-kind contributions must be itemized on the spending side of the ledger. By “several” OCF meant a total of $22,350 of Thomas’ receipts were of the in-kind variety—including $10,000 in-kind from himself.

The July 26 amended report provides a leaner bottom line for Team Thomas. His total remains the same, but once the sketchy in-kind contributions are subtracted as campaign expenditures, his cash balance shrinks to $18,787.