Congressman George Santos, a Republican, was hit with a 23-count superseding indictment on Tuesday, according to the Department of Justice’s announcement.
The Eastern District of New York declared charges against him for one count of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States, two counts of wire fraud, two counts of making materially false statements to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), two counts of falsifying records submitted to obstruct the FEC, two counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count of access device fraud.
In addition to seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft from public funds and two counts of making materially false statements to the United States House Of Representatives that were listed in the original indictment.
According to a press release issued by the DOJ: “Santos allegedly filed fraudulent fundraising reports with the FEC in order to obtain financial support for his campaign and repeatedly charged credit cards without authorization from campaign contributors”.
“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. Santos falsely inflated the campaign’s reported receipts with non-existent loans and contributions that were either fabricated or stolen” stated United States Attorney Breon Peace. “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.”
“Santos allegedly led multiple additional fraudulent criminal schemes, lying to the American public in the process. The FBI is committed to upholding the laws of our electoral process. Anyone who attempts to violate the law as part of a political campaign will face punishment in the criminal justice system,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Smith.
In May, George Santos was arrested and charged following a federal jury’s return of a 13-count indictment.
This included seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering and one count of theft of public funds.
Subsequently, the government tacked on an additional five charges for “wire fraud” related to political contribution solicitation scheme.
Santos was subjected to overzealous prosecution in this case.
The lawmaker was charged for each email or text message sent to potential political supporters (screenshot below):
Counts 6-8 were for unlawful money transactions over $10,000.
Santos was charged with counts 10 and 11 for wire fraud in relation to unemployment benefits. Evidence revealed that Santos was receiving a salary of $120,000 while simultaneously collecting $24,741 in Covid relief benefits. Additionally, two payments of $564 were made via interstate wires.
Since Representative Santos’ election to New York’s House of Representatives, which resulted in a loss for the Democratic party, the Biden administration has been targeting him.
Allegations have been made that he provided false information about his finances to the House of Representatives, specifically claiming an inflated income and misrepresenting an investment. Counts 12 and 13 are related to these alleged statements.