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The New York Republican George Santos has been charged and arrested for money laundering, fraud, and theft by federal authorities. The Representative is most well known for building a campaign on lies that range from his religion, holocaust surviving grandparents, and being a star volleyball player for a college he never attended.
Federal authorities have accused Santos and his campaign of requesting donations under false pretenses. Instead of using the donations on his campaign, Santos would pay down debts and purchase luxury clothes. This charge is collaborated with a complaint filed in February by End Citizens United, a PAC, with the Federal Election Commission. Ends Citizens United claims that a Santos staffer posed as a top aide to House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy to solicit donations for his campaign in 2020 and 2022.
Santos is accused of lying on congressional disclosure forms and receiving unemployment benefits while employed as a regional director at an investment firm and running for Congress. The financial disclosure shows that Santos made $750,000 a year from a family company, which allowed him to claim he donated $750,000 to his campaign. Federal authorities are alleging he never donated that sum, citing his financial struggles to pay rent and multiple evictions.
Santos has faced numerous members of Congress and members of his party calling for resignation since December, after the lies about his background came out. Recently, he announced his intention to retain his seat in the 2024 election. Republican House Leader & Current Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy issued a statement on the charges against Santos, stating “I think in America, you’re innocent till proven guilty.”
U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said the charges “seeks to hold Santos accountable for various alleged fraudulent schemes and brazen misrepresentations… Taken together, the allegations in the indictment charge Santos with relying on repeated dishonesty and deception to ascend to the halls of Congress and enrich himself,”