Santos Faces Monday Deadline To Respond to Bond Inquiry

June 5, 2023

Rep. George Santos (R-NY) faced a deadline Monday to respond to a court order regarding three people who secured his $500,000 bond last month.

Federal judge Anne Y. Shields in Central Islip, New York gave the embattled freshman Congress member from Long Island until 5pm ET to respond to the court motions by media outlets that have asked the judge to unseal records that would identify those three people.

Shields released Santos on May 10 on $500,000 bond after he pleaded not guilty to 13 criminal counts at federal court in New York’s Eastern District.

The 13 charges include seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds, and two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives.

Court filings said three people helped Santos secure the bond, but their identities have remained under seal. Shields had ordered Santos to respond to the unsealing requests last week, but his attorneys asked for and were given a delay to do so until Monday—with Shields specifying that she would not entertain any “further suspensions of time” for Santos to respond.

Citing the First Amendment as well as common law right to access information, a consortium of media organizations had filed their motion to unseal the records last month.

“The public’s interest in this matter cannot be overstated,” the motion said. “A United States Congressman stands accused of perpetuating financial fraud in connection with his election to the House of Representatives.”

If convicted, Santos—who filed for reelection in 2024 on March 14—faces up to 20 years in prison for the wire fraud charges alone. 

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