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  • Writer's picturejohn kepler

Breaking News: Rep. George Santos Indicted

The U.S. Attorney’s office filed a 23-count superseding indictment against Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, charging the congressman with conspiracy to commit offenses against the U.S., wire fraud, lying to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), and more.

The indictment contains one count of conspiracy to commit offenses against the U.S., two counts of wire fraud, two counts of making false statements to the FEC, two counts of falsifying records submitted to the FEC, two counts of aggravated identity theft and one count of device fraud.

The charges were in addition to the original indictment filed in May, which included 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," U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said. "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."

The latest indictment alleges that Santos, who also goes by Anthony Devloder, participated in two fraudulent schemes in addition to the multiple fraudulent schemes alleged in the original indictment.

When Santos was a candidate for the House of Representatives in the Third Congressional District of New York, he and the treasurer of his congressional campaign committee, Nancy Marks, allegedly devised and executed a plan to get money for the campaign by submitting false reports to the FEC, inflating the fundraising numbers to mislead FEC officials, the national party committee and the public, according to a press release from the Department of Justice.

The scheme was devised to ensure his campaign qualified for a program offered by the national party, as long as the campaign raised $250,000 from third-party contributors in one quarter.

Santos and Marks, who pleaded guilty to related conduct last week, allegedly created an appearance that the campaign met the benchmark, reported to the FEC that 10 of their family members made financial contributions to the campaign, and knew they neither made contributions nor gave permission to use their information in a false report.

The two also reported false loans, including a $500,000 loan, when the now Congressman had less than $8,000 in his personal and business bank accounts.

Still, the scheme helped ensure they met the financial benchmarks to get support from the national party.

In the second scheme, Santos is accused of stealing the identity and financial information of campaign contributors, then charging their cards "repeatedly" without authorization.

The transactions were then funneled to Santos’ campaign, campaigns of other candidates and his own bank account, the U.S. Attorney’s Office alleges.



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