George Santos facing new federal charges

October 11, 2023

Embattled Rep. George Santos (R-NY) was slapped with a new federal indictment Tuesday, alleging identity theft and credit card theft.

According to the indictment, Santos stole the identities of donors to his campaigns, rang up tens of thousands of dollars in unauthorized charges, then wired some of the money to his own personal bank account while using the rest of the funds to inflate his campaign coffers.

The new indictment, which lists 23 criminal counts against Santos, replaces a 13-count indictment filed in May.

Along with the identity theft and credit card theft charges, Santos is also accused of falsely reporting to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) that he had loaned his campaign $500,000; in fact, he hadn’t given anything while maintaining less than $8,000 in the bank.

According to the indictment, that fake loan was an attempt by Santos to convince Republican Party officials that his campaign was worth their financial support. 

“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 in a statement.

Upon exiting a two-hour conference with other House Republicans who are scrambling to elect a new Speaker  in the aftermath of last week’s ousting of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Santos told reporters Tuesday, “I was in conference like everyone else, without my phone, so I have nothing to say,” though he did call himself the victim of a “witch hunt.”

Among the initial charges against him, Santos is facing wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds, and making materially false statements to the House of Representatives.

Each wire fraud count carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison. If Santos is found guilty of multiple counts, it would be up to a judge to decide whether he should serve his sentences concurrently or consecutively.

Last week, Santos’ former campaign manager, Nancy Marks, pleaded guilty to an unspecified felony in connection with the Congress member’s federal investigation.

Meanwhile, Santos is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee regarding whether he may have “engaged in unlawful activity with respect to his 2022 congressional campaign,” among a series of allegations. 

Within a month of taking the oath of office in January, Santos asked to be removed from his House committee seats until his various legal issues are resolved.

Santos filed for reelection in 2024 on March 14.

PHOTO: George Santos, May 10 2023

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