December 7, 2023

Federal prosecutors on Tuesday filed a big array of extra prices towards Consultant George Santos of New York, accusing him of latest legal schemes, together with stealing the identities and bank card particulars of donors to his marketing campaign.

The brand new accusations had been made in a 23-count superseding indictment that laid out how Mr. Santos had charged his donors’ bank cards “repeatedly, with out their authorization,” distributing the cash to his and different candidates’ campaigns and to his personal checking account.

The new indictment filed within the Japanese District of New York added 10 prices towards Mr. Santos: conspiracy to commit offenses towards america, wire fraud, aggravated id theft, entry system fraud, false statements to the Federal Election Fee and falsifying information to hinder the fee.

The accusations towards Mr. Santos, a first-term Republican of New York, appear vastly totally different from the standard corruption instances that ensnare politicians. A lot of these have hinged on intricate quid professional quos and sophisticated authorized questions concerning the nature of a political bribe.

Mr. Santos’s alleged misdeeds, in distinction, have extra in widespread with these of a run-of-the-mill grifter.

Amongst different issues, prosecutors say that Mr. Santos stole a donor’s bank card quantity to switch greater than $11,000 to his personal checking account, and swindled $50,000 from two different donors utilizing a pretend nonprofit — utilizing the cash to purchase designer items and settle private money owed.

They are saying he faked being rich to impress Republican leaders, reported a fictitious $500,000 marketing campaign mortgage to get their monetary help and made up tens of 1000’s of {dollars} in donations to present the impression of runaway political success.

The up to date indictment got here 5 days after Mr. Santos’s marketing campaign treasurer, Nancy Marks, pleaded responsible to a felony depend of conspiracy to defraud america and admitted to her function in fraudulently reporting the fictional $500,000 loan.

Ms. Marks said in court that she and an unnamed co-conspirator agreed to creating reviews of false donations and falsifying the mortgage. The superseding indictment made clear what was already extensively surmised: The co-conspirator was Mr. Santos.

“Santos falsely inflated the marketing campaign’s reported receipts with nonexistent loans and contributions that had been both fabricated or stolen,” Breon Peace, the U.S. legal professional for the Japanese District, mentioned in an announcement.

Mr. Santos refused to touch upon the brand new prices, telling reporters in Washington that he had not not too long ago checked his cellphone however had no plans to resign. A lawyer for Mr. Santos, Joseph Murray, declined to remark.

The original indictment filed in May towards Mr. Santos, 35, whose district consists of elements of Lengthy Island and Queens, accused him of being concerned in three separate monetary schemes. Prosecutors charged him with 13 counts of wire fraud, cash laundering, stealing public funds and mendacity on federal disclosure varieties.

Mr. Santos, who’s in search of re-election in 2024, has pleaded not responsible to the earlier prices. He has persistently denied any involvement in his marketing campaign’s funds, laying blame for any points or discrepancies on Ms. Marks.

The brand new prices could place extra strain on Mr. Santos to achieve a plea deal. In September, prosecutors disclosed that they’d begun talks about “doable paths ahead” with Mr. Santos in his fraud case; Mr. Santos has denied there being any such negotiations.

If Mr. Santos had been to resign and vacate his seat, a particular election to exchange him could be held. On Tuesday, Thomas R. Suozzi, the Lengthy Island Democrat who held Mr. Santos’s seat for six years, announced that he would run to replace Mr. Santos within the Home of Representatives.

In Mr. Santos’s new indictment, prosecutors lay out a number of new schemes they are saying he used to acquire cash for himself and his political marketing campaign.

The indictment describes how Mr. Santos, determined to achieve marketing campaign benchmarks set by a nationwide Republican Occasion marketing campaign committee, defrauded donors to bolster marketing campaign coffers.

Prosecutors describe how he used the bank card of a donor, recognized solely as “Contributor No. 12,” repeatedly, with out the particular person’s consciousness or approval, charging $15,800 to Mr. Santos’s marketing campaign and related committees.

Within the following months, prosecutors say, Mr. Santos charged that very same donor a further $44,800, a few of which was routed by means of a Florida firm related to the Devolder Group.

At the very least $11,000 of that cash was transferred immediately into Mr. Santos’s checking account, prosecutors mentioned within the indictment.

A lot of the up to date indictment overlaps with the accusations prosecutors made towards Ms. Marks. They mentioned that she and Mr. Santos agreed to falsely inflate the fund-raising numbers as a way to hit a $250,000 benchmark that will qualify the marketing campaign for a program run by a Republican Occasion committee that will enable Mr. Santos to get marketing campaign help.

The indictment cites textual content messages and emails through which the 2 agreed to file reviews that mentioned the marketing campaign had raised the cash it wanted to in spite of everything, by together with $53,200 in pretend contributions from kinfolk who had by no means really donated.

Mr. Santos despatched a listing of relations’ addresses and occupations that had been related to these false donations, which in the end allowed Mr. Santos to be chosen for this system.

Later, Mr. Santos advised the Republican committee that he had made the $500,000 mortgage to his marketing campaign that Ms. Marks has since admitted was fraudulent. He assured the committee in a presentation that he had the “private and political capital” to fund his marketing campaign.

On the time, Mr. Santos “had lower than $8,000 in his private and enterprise financial institution accounts,” prosecutors mentioned. However his assurances on the contrary, prosecutors mentioned, allowed him to obtain monetary and logistical help.

Of their preliminary indictment, federal prosecutors accused Mr. Santos of working with an unnamed affiliate in 2022 to solicit at the very least $50,000 in donations for what they claimed was an excellent PAC nonprofit. They mentioned that Mr. Santos then pocketed the cash for private bills, together with luxurious designer clothes and bank card funds.

The unique indictment additionally accused Mr. Santos of fraudulently making use of for and receiving greater than $24,000 in pandemic unemployment advantages whereas he was really employed, and of knowingly making false statements on monetary disclosure varieties.

Mr. Santos was scheduled to return to courtroom on the unique indictment on Oct. 27.

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