Federal prosecutors on Tuesday charged Rep. George Santos, RN.Y., with 23 additional charges, including charges of identity theft and charges that he overcharged a supporter’s credit card and transferred the money to his personal bank account.
Santos faces “one count of conspiracy to commit crimes against the United States, two counts of wire fraud, two counts of making false statements to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), and two counts of filing false records to obstruct the FEC,” prosecutors said. A restated indictment filed Tuesday includes two counts of aggravated identity theft and one count of access device fraud.
“As alleged, Santos stole people’s identities and charged his own donors’ credit cards without their authorization, lying to the FEC and, by extension, the public about his campaign’s financial status. Santos falsely inflated the campaign’s reported receipts with nonexistent loans and fabricated or stolen contributions.” Brian Pease, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement.
Santos declined to comment to NBC News at the Capitol late Tuesday, saying he was “unreachable by phone.”
In a press release, prosecutors said Santos’ relatives and his campaign treasurer, Nancy Marks, falsely claimed to have donated large sums of money to his campaign, saying he was raising more money than he actually had in order to qualify. Aided by the National Party.
Santos and Marks agreed to falsely report at least 10 members of Santos and Marks’ family to the FEC in order to create the public appearance that “his campaign met that funding criteria” for additional Republican funding, otherwise financially viable. While both Santos and Marks made substantial financial contributions to the campaign, these individuals did not make the reported contributions or were authorized to include their personal information in such false public statements.”
He is also accused of engaging in a credit card scheme where the campaign repeatedly charged contributors’ credit cards over and above FEC individual contribution limits.
“For example, in December 2021, a contributor (‘contributor’) texted Santos and others to contribute to his campaign, providing billing information for two credit cards,” prosecutors said.
“Within days of receiving the billing information, Santos used credit card information to make multiple contributions to his campaign and affiliated political groups, without the contributor’s knowledge or authorization, in amounts that exceeded applicable contribution limits,” they said.
On another occasion, he “allegedly charged $12,000 to a contributor’s credit card and eventually transferred most of that money to his personal bank account.”
Prosecutors also shed light on a mysterious $500,000 loan Santos said he gave to his campaign, saying it was a bogus loan and that Santos “had less than $8,000 in his personal and business bank accounts.”
In an interview with WABC last year, Santos said the loan and others came from money he “paid myself” through his company, the Devolder system.
Marks admitted to some of the same conduct last week, including allegations of false FEC filings about family members that Santos was accused of filing on Tuesday.
Earlier this year Santos was charged 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 US House of Representatives. He is innocent.
The congressman came under scrutiny for the first time before taking office late last year when The New York Times published a bombshell. Investigation Much of his resume appears to be manufactured, he owns numerous properties, was previously employed by Goldman Sachs and Citigroup and graduated from Baruch College.