Department of Justice Charges GOP Congressman with Wire Fraud, Aggravated Identity Theft & More
The U.S. Department of Justice filed a new indictment against Rep. George Santos (R-NY).
Federal prosecutors charged Santos with “conspiracy, wire fraud, false statements, falsification of records, aggravated identity theft and credit card fraud,” CBS News reports.
The DOJ accused Santos of stealing the identities of his donors and using their credit cards to make unauthorized charges.
“Prosecutors said some of the stolen money ended up in his own bank account,” the Associated Press stated.
BREAKING: U.S. Rep. George Santos charged in new indictment with stealing the identities of donors to his campaign and then using their credit cards. Prosecutors said some of the stolen money ended up in his own bank account. https://t.co/ZxHhYBfFDj
— The Associated Press (@AP) October 10, 2023
The 23-count indictment replaces one filed earlier against the New York Republican charging him with embezzling money from his campaign and lying to Congress about his wealth, among other offenses.
The new charges include allegations that he charged more than $44,000 to his campaign over a period of months using cards belonging to contributors without their knowledge. In one case, he charged $12,000 to a contributor’s credit card and transferred the “vast majority” of that money into his personal bank account, prosecutors said.
Santos is also accused of falsely reporting to the Federal Elections Commission that he had loaned $500,000 to his campaign in an attempt to convince Republican Party officials that he was a serious candidate, when he actually had less than $8,000 in his personal accounts.
“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.
ALERT: Superseding indictment against Rep George Santos (R-NY). He now faces *23* charges, including conspiracy & fraud. Feds: “Santos allegedly led multiple additional fraudulent criminal schemes, lying to the American public in the process.” pic.twitter.com/oGK4O84jo0
— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) October 10, 2023
CBS News listed the charges against Santos in the indictment:
Prosecutors filed a 23-count superseding indictment against the New York Republican in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Here are the charges he faces:
- 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
- One count of access device fraud
These new counts have been added to the charges in the original indictment against him:
- Seven counts of wire fraud
- Three counts of money laundering
- One count of theft of public funds
- Two counts of making materially false statements to the United States House of Representatives
U.S. Attorney Breon Stacy Peace said in a statement that 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,” Peace said.
Santos, a freshman congressman who represents New York’s 3rd Congressional District, has been dogged by allegations that he inflated his resume and lied about his past experience to bolster his election chances in his 2022 political campaign. He has admitted that he “embellished” his resume. He has spent much of his tenure in Congress haunted by questions about his education and professional experience, as well as his finances and campaign spending.