George Santos faces new charges for alleged lies and credit card fraud | ET REALITY


Federal prosecutors on Tuesday filed a major series of new charges against Rep. George Santos of New York, accusing him of new criminal schemes, including stealing the identities and credit cards of donors to his campaign.

The new allegations were made in a superseding 23-count indictment that laid out how Santos had charged his donors’ credit cards “repeatedly, without their authorization,” distributing the money to his campaigns and those of other candidates and to his own bank account. . .

The new indictment filed in the Eastern District of New York added 10 counts against Mr. Santos: conspiracy to commit crimes against the United States, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, access device fraud, false statements to the Federal Election Commission and falsifying records to obstruct the commission.

The updated indictment came five days after his campaign treasurer, Nancy Marks, pleaded guilty to felony conspiracy to defraud the United States and admitted her role in fraudulently reporting a fictitious $500,000 loan that Santos claimed to have made his campaign. .

Marks said in court that she and an unnamed accomplice, understood to be Santos, a New York Republican, agreed to make false donation reports and falsify the loan.

“Santos falsely inflated the campaign’s reported income with non-existent loans and contributions that were fabricated or stolen,” Breon Peace, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement.

A lawyer for Santos did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The original indictment filed in May against Santos, 35, accused him of being involved in three separate financial schemes. Prosecutors charged him with 13 counts of wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds and lying on federal disclosure forms.

Santos, who is seeking re-election in 2024, has pleaded not guilty to the previous charges against him. He has consistently denied any involvement in his campaign finances, blaming Ms. Marks for any problems or discrepancies.

Prosecutors cited text messages and emails between Marks and Santos, who were not named in court documents, saying the two agreed to falsely inflate fundraising numbers to reach a benchmark of $250,000 for a targeted program. by a republican. Party committee that would allow Mr. Santos to obtain campaign support.

But prosecutors said in Ms. Marks’ court papers that he provided a list of his and Ms. Marks’ relatives under whose names the campaign falsely reported contributions of $53,200 in a 2021 filing.

In their initial indictment, federal prosecutors accused Santos of working with an unnamed associate in 2022 to solicit at least $50,000 in donations for what they claimed was a super PAC. They said Mr. Santos then pocketed the money for personal expenses, including luxury designer clothing and credit card payments.

The original indictment also charged Mr. Santos with fraudulently applying for and receiving more than $24,000 in pandemic unemployment benefits while employed, and with knowingly making false statements on financial disclosure forms.

Santos was scheduled to return to court on the original charge on October 27.

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