George Santos’ accountant pleads guilty in federal trial

An accountant who oversaw the finances of Rep. George Santos’ political campaigns has agreed to plead guilty to one or more federal crimes, according to court documents, and an officer in the Eastern District of New York.

The accountant, Nancy Marks, has handled the finances of New York’s most powerful Republicans for years and has been dogged by allegations of wrongdoing.

According to a court official, he is expected to appear in federal court in Central Islip, NY, on Thursday to enter a formal guilty plea. That account was backed up by three people familiar with the case.

The case against Mrs. Marks is Mr. It’s unclear how that will affect Santos, who was indicted in May on 13 counts of wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds and lying on federal disclosure forms. He is innocent.

A $50,000 political donation from an unregistered nonprofit organization to Mr. The indictment presented several schemes, including one that Santos was accused of pocketing. In August, another campaign staffer was charged in a separate fundraising scheme.

Mr. Santos has continued to deny any involvement in his campaign’s finances, saying Ms. Marks was responsible for all filings. He blamed her for any problems or inconsistencies related to it, telling a conservative news outlet earlier this year that the “former confidante was rude.”

Mr. As one of Santos’s closest confidants, Ms. Marks remained, working with him from the start of the 2020 campaign through his final election in 2020, earning nearly $240,000, including reimbursements. There was no indication that Ms. Marks was willing to cooperate with prosecutors.

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A mainstay of Republican politics in Suffolk County, Ms. Marks, 58, has deep ties to Republicans on Long Island, and Mr. Not only did Santos handle the finances of former state senator and Majority Leader John Flanagan and Lee Zeldin. , a former congressman who narrowly lost last year’s gubernatorial race.

Ms. Marks’ work has drawn the attention of federal prosecutors several times before, The New York Times reported earlier this year. In the first instance, prosecutors charged that he helped broker the sale of a ballot; Second, they saw that she allegedly embezzled money from a client. She was never charged.

Mr. In January, Ms. Marks left the Santos campaign, a month after news broke that Santos had fabricated parts of her life story.

After The Times and others uncovered several irregularities, Mr. Santos’ finances began to be scrutinized. Ms. Marks filed to amend her campaign finance reports more than 30 times, during which expenses appeared and disappeared, often without explanation.

In particular, dozens of expenses appeared mysteriously for $199.99 — pennies below the threshold for requiring receipts. Many of these were created “anonymously”. In subsequent revisions, those payments disappeared from the ledger. But the campaign spent the money without disclosing where it went, with more than $365,000 in undisclosed campaign expenses.

These discrepancies and others led watchdogs to file a complaint with the Federal Election Commission earlier this year for violating campaign finance laws.

Mr. Santos is scheduled to appear in court on October 27.

Michael Gold Contributed report.

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