GOP Rep George Santos, [R-NY], surrendered himself to feds at the Islip courthouse in New York on Wednesday morning
Santos is in custody, indicted on 13 federal charges including money laundering
Indictment includes seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds and two counts of making false statements to the House of Representatives
The New York politician is also accused of wire fraud and converting donor money to personal use – buying designer clothes and cover his debts
Indictment states that Santos took $24,000 in unemployment benefits while working and earning $120,000 a year, at the time
The Congressman is alleged to have taken $25,000 from campaign donors, that he converted to personal account
‘This indictment seeks to hold Santos accountable for various alleged fraudulent schemes and brazen misrepresentations,’ said US Attorney Breon Peace of Republican Rep. George Santos who is in custody after he was indicted on federal charges
Republican House member George Santos is in custody in his home state New York, after he was indicted on 13 federal charges including money laundering, wire fraud and making false statements during his campaign.
The Long Island politician who has fabricated his resume and admitted lying about his life story is in court in is facing a judge Wednesday afternoon after surrendering to authorities.
The Eastern District of New York unsealed the indictment on Wednesday morning, 24 hours after Santos claimed in the media to have no idea he was being charged.
The indictment includes seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds and two counts of making false statements to the House of Representatives.
He has been accused of using donor money to buy designer clothes and pay off his personal debts and applying for unemployment benefits while he was running for Congress.
The allegations add to the litany of lies he has been accused of, including stealing money meant for a dying Iraq War veteran’s dog and being behind a credit card fraud.
Shunned by the GOP House caucus, after a series of revelations about his fabrications, Santos sits alone in the chambers of Congress. But he remains resolute about not quitting – unless he is kicked out, rather unlikely, considering his role as make weight for the GOP majority vote
‘This indictment seeks to hold Santos accountable for various alleged fraudulent schemes and brazen misrepresentations,’ stated United States Attorney Breon Peace.
‘Taken together, the allegations in the indictment charge Santos with relying on repeated dishonesty and deception to ascend to the halls of Congress and enrich himself.
‘He used political contributions to line his pockets, unlawfully applied for unemployment benefits that should have gone to New Yorkers who had lost their jobs due to the pandemic, and lied to the House of Representatives.
‘My Office and our law enforcement partners will continue to aggressively root out corruption and self-dealing from our community’s public institutions and hold public officials accountable to the constituents who elected them.’
Fraudster: The charges against Republican Rep. George Santos [photo], are related to unemployment benefits according to he newly revealed federal indictment
The charges related to unemployment benefits carry potential additional political sting, since the benefits draw funds from the state whose voters sent him to Washington.
Prosecutors say he took those benefits while receiving income.
‘At the height of the pandemic in 2020, George Santos allegedly applied for and received unemployment benefits while he was employed and running for Congress,’ said D.A. Anne Donnelly.
‘As charged in the indictment, the defendant’s alleged behavior continued during his second run for Congress when he pocketed campaign contributions and used that money to pay down personal debts and buy designer clothing.’
At the time, Santos was earning $120,000 a year from his Florida-based investment firm.
Santos’ arraignment is set for Wednesday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlene R. Lindsay at the Alfonse D’Amato Federal Courthouse.
The indictment also spells out a ‘fraudulent’ scheme where Santos defrauded political supporters, telling a political consultant to inform donors their contributions were to elect him to Congress. That led two donors to transfer $25,000 to the bank account of an LLC operated by Santos.
Santos then took those funds and transferred them to his personal bank accounts, according to the indictment. ‘Santos allegedly then used much of that money for personal expenses,’ including designer clothing, cash withdrawals, and to service debts.
Indictment charges George Santos with claiming unemployment benefits while on a in a six-figure salary, converting campaign donations to personal uses, and making false statements on financial disclosures, netting $24,000 in unemployment insurance benefits.
The federal charges also state that Santos made false statements to Congress on his required financial disclosures. Those forms require a ‘full and complete’ disclosure of his finances.
The indictment says he overstated the income he got from one firm and ‘altogether failed’ to disclose what he got from an investment firm during his first campaign for Congress.
The indictment alleges he overstated his income and assets during his second run. The ‘false’ statement claimed he got $750,000 in salary from the Devolder Organization LLC; got dividends of between $1 million and $5 million, and held a savings account with up to $5 million.
Those claims were ‘false,’ according to the indictment, which also charges he failed to disclose $28,000 in income from an investment firm and $20,000 in UI benefits from New York.
The indictment’s charges of fraud and money laundering pose a political headache for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who relies on Santos’ vote in his narrow majority.
Despite calls for the member’s resignation, Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who relies on the vote of Santos in his narrow majority, noted that he does not serve on congressional committees, but he provides a crucial vote for the majority
Demonstrations calling for the resignation of Representative George Santos happened at the U.S., Capitol in Washington on February 7
McCarthy indicated to reporters Monday after news of the then-sealed indictment broke that he intended to stand by him.
“Just like we had before with [former Rep. Jeff Fortenberry] … he was found guilty and then I told him he needed to resign,’ McCarthy said. Fortenberry was convicted of lying about foreign campaign contributions.
Santos, the first openly gay Republican member of Congress, made history when he defeated troubled Democrat, Robert Zimmerman, and flipped the New York seat red. However, subsequent to winning the 2022 midterm elections to represent New York’s 3rd congressional district, he has been exposed as a pathological liar.
His Cinderella odyssey appears to have been fueled by lies and fabricated stories about every facet of his life, from his academic background to his family’s heritage.