John Edwards was ordered on Thursday to repay the treasury $2.3 million, the Federal Election Commission ruled unanimously.
Edwards, 58, was indicted early last month
for breaking campaign finance laws
by using political funds to cover up the affair with his mistress
Rielle Hunter and their love child
Federal auditors said all but approximately $200,000 of the total $13 million he received for his 2008 presidential campaign came from federal matching funds, The Washington Post
Auditors accused the Edwards campaign of understating cash and overstating expenses, but lawyers for Edwards said the campaign owes no money.
As PEOPLE has learned, while the repayment need not come out of Edwards’s own pocket – records show he has $2.6 million remaining in his campaign account, enough to cover the FEC bill – Thursday's decision does mean he will not have those leftover campaign funds available to help with his mounting legal bills.
Friends of the disgraced politician have privately expressed concern about Edwards’s personal finances. Once a multi-millionaire practicing attorney, Edwards has been out of work for several years and faces steep legal bills.