New York Congressman George Santos was indicted on multiple federal charges, including conspiracy, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and credit card fraud.
Santos has been accused of submitting false financial reports to the Federal Election Commission to misrepresent his campaign’s fundraising numbers in order to secure support from the Republican Party during his 2022 congressional campaign.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York filed a 23-count superseding indictment against Santos on Oct. 10. The 35-year-old was previously indicted in May. At the time, the government charged the congressman with 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 U.S. House of Representatives.
“As alleged, Santos is charged with stealing people’s identities and making charges on his own donors’ credit cards without their authorization, lying to the FEC and, by extension, the public about the financial state of his campaign,” said U.S. Attorney Breon Peace in a press release. “Santos falsely inflated the campaign’s reported receipts with non-existent loans and contributions that were either fabricated or stolen.”
“This Office will relentlessly pursue criminal charges against anyone who uses the electoral process as an opportunity to defraud the public and our government institutions,” continued Peace.
Santos’s indictment comes days after one of his former political aids implicated him while facing her own criminal prosecution.
Nancy Marks, Santos’s campaign treasurer, pleaded guilty to fraud conspiracy on Oct. 5 on Long Island. She alleged that Santos “submitted bogus campaign finance reports falsely saying he had loaned his campaign $500,000 even though in reality he didn’t have that kind of money and the loan didn’t exist,” reports WCVB. “The fake loan made Santos look way richer than he really was, and also helped him hit fundraising thresholds needed to qualify for backing from a national GOP committee.”
The Justice Department contends Marks and Santos falsely reported to the FEC that 10 of their family members had made substantial financial contributions to his campaign and that the family members had not reported the contribution or given permission for their information to be used in the reports.
The department has also accused Santos of repeatedly charging campaign contributors’ credit cards without their consent between December 2021 and August 2022.
“Because of these unauthorized transactions, funds were transferred to Santos’s campaign, to the campaigns of other candidates for elected office, and to his own bank account,” argued the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “To conceal the true source of these funds and to circumvent campaign contribution limits, Santos falsely represented that some of the campaign contributions were made by other persons, such as his relatives or associates, rather than the true cardholders.”
As part of her plea deal, Marks is facing up to 4 years in prison.
Santos has previously been accused of falsifying his biographical information, notes Fox News. The New York Times published a report in the days before he was sworn into Congress stating that Santos allegedly lied about his Jewish heritage, graduating from Baruch College, and his experience on Wall Street.