Home Politics Elections Representative Jorge Santos charged with 13 counts of fraud, financial crimes

Representative Jorge Santos charged with 13 counts of fraud, financial crimes


Rep. George Santos, the freshman Republican congressman whose myriad lies became both a scandal and a national punchline, was accused of a host of financial crimes Court papers opened on Wednesday,

Santos, 34, surrendered to federal authorities in the morning and is expected to appear in a federal courthouse in Central Islip on Long Island later Wednesday. He has been charged with fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds and making false statements, officials said. The Congress leader and his lawyer did not respond to messages seeking comment.

Santos is accused of defrauding potential donors to his campaign and New York State, as well as making false statements to the House Committee on Ethics. He faces seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds and two counts of lying to the House of Representatives on financial forms.

Details of his transactions with prospective donors and false statements on his ethics disclosures were revealed in earlier reporting. But the indictment includes previously undisclosed allegations about the scheme to illegally obtain unemployment benefits.

According to prosecutors, Santos falsely claimed to be unemployed in the summer of 2020 when he applied for benefits through the New York State Department of Labor and falsified his unemployment through the following spring, receiving more than $24,000 from the state. Continued to authenticate. During that time, he served as the regional director of a Florida investment firm. That firm is not named in the indictment, but its description matches that of a company called Harbor City Capital, which was forced to shut down in 2021 after what the Securities and Exchange Commission called a “classic Ponzi scheme.”

“Taken together, the allegations in the indictment accuse Santos of repeatedly relying on dishonesty and deception to ascend the halls of Congress and enrich himself,” US Attorney Brion Peace said in a statement. He used political contributions to illegally line his own pockets. Applied for unemployment benefits that should have gone to New Yorkers who lost their jobs due to the pandemic, and lied to the House of Representatives.”

Read the indictment of Rep. George Santos

The federal charges mark the latest chapter in a saga that has put Santos under a bright spotlight in Washington and beyond. lie she told Voters in a district stretching from parts of Long Island to Queens largely escaped national attention until after his November victory. Once they surfaced on a wider scale, Santos, who flipped a seat previously held by a Democrat, apologized for “resume embellishment”.

But some investigations aim at more serious potential wrongdoing, including allegedly misrepresenting his campaign finances and defrauding people for his own financial gain.

According to the indictment, Santos used tens of thousands of dollars apparently raised to pay for designer clothing for his 2022 congressional race, pay off debts and give money to aides. The indictment significantly adds to the understanding of an alleged scheme to defraud donors to Santos’s congressional campaign — which prosecutors say Santos directed in violation of federal campaign finance law. He is accused of soliciting funds personally and through his campaign treasurer to a company that he falsely represented as both a social welfare organization and a super PAC supporting his bid for federal office . In fact, prosecutors claim, money from the company eventually went into bank accounts controlled by Santos.

Santos was also accused of lying on Congressional financial disclosure forms when he claimed he earned a salary of $750,000 from a firm he owned, receiving between $1 million and $5 million in dividends from that firm. had a checking account with a balance in excess of $100,000 and a savings account with a balance in excess of $1 million. Officials said none of these things were true.

Extensive complaints were filed by watchdog groups with the Federal Election Commission earlier this year accused santo misrepresenting campaign expenses and using campaign resources to cover personal expenses, among other charges. In January, the Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section Asked FEC to block any enforcement action against Santos, suggesting that prosecutors were investigating overlapping issues.

Representative George Santos (RN.Y.) has falsified his personal history, padded his resume and made other outlandish claims that have gotten him in trouble. (Video: Blair Guild/The Washington Post)

congressman has Also came under fire for allegedly pickpocketing $3,000 from a GoFundMe page he allegedly set up for a homeless veteran to help pay for surgery for the man’s dying service dog — allegations that are not part of the indictment.

In March, a House ethics panel said it would investigate Santos and established a bipartisan subcommittee to investigate claims about him, including allegations of his past business practices, campaign finance expenditures, and sexual misconduct.

The Congressman’s machinations during his campaign touched on nearly every aspect of his life, from his family background to his academic pedigree and work experience.

Santos said that his mother was inside one of the World Trade Center towers when she was attacked on September 11, 2001, but immigration record Point out that his mother was not in the United States that day. He claimed to work for high-powered Wall Street firms that refused to hire him. he also falsely claimed to be a star on her college volleyball team,

Republican leaders in his district and members of New York’s congressional delegation asked him to resign, but Santos refused. After initially dodging the cameras and refusing to be interviewed in the halls of Congress, the legislator embraced his notoriety. He threw in with the far-right faction of his party and endorsed former President Donald Trump’s 2024 campaign. last month he announced he will seek re-election,

At a January event hosted by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) at the Conrad Hotel for donors and new members of Congress, Santos was asked how he was doing, according to two people present.

“It’s an event for the new speaker, but I’m the most famous person in the room,” she replied.

This is a developing story. It will be updated.

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