Rep. George Santos (R-NY) turned himself in on Wednesday as he faces a 13-count indictment, including wire fraud, money laundering and theft of public funds.
The indictment — read it here — also includes two counts of lying on House of Representatives disclosure forms.
Since he was elected to his seat in November, Santos has been the butt of comedian’s jokes and late night humor as revelations showed he had repeatedly lied about his background. He himself admitted to being a bit of a fabulist, but he refused to resign his seat in the House. Faced with a slim majority, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has also declined to call for him to step down, even though politicians of both parties have asked him to do so.
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The indictment outlines an alleged scheme by Santos to use campaign contributions to pay down his personal credit card debt and buy designer clothing.
In a statement, U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said that the indictment “seeks to hold Santos accountable for various alleged fraudulent schemes and brazen misrepresentations. Taken together, the allegations in the indictment charge Santos with replying on repeated dishonesty and deception to ascend to the halls of Congress and enrich himself.”
The indictment also claims that Santos unlawfully applied for pandemic unemployment benefits.
District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly said, “At the height of the pandemic in 2020, George Santos allegedly applied for and received unemployment benefits while he was employed and running for Congress. As charged in the indictment, the defendant’s alleged behavior continued during his second run for Congress when he pocketed campaign contributions and used that money to pay down personal debts and buy designer clothing.”
More to come.
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