Home Updates Politics Congressman George Santos Denies Fraud Charges in Court

Congressman George Santos Denies Fraud Charges in Court

Republican congressman George Santos, mired in scandal, has pleaded not guilty to a raft of federal charges, including fraud and money laundering.

Congressman George Santos, who represents the 3rd district of New York, has recently pleaded not guilty to 13 federal charges. The charges include allegations of fraud related to Covid-19 unemployment benefits, misuse of campaign funds, and providing false information about his finances on House disclosure reports. After his court appearance, Santos was released on a $500,000 bond, as confirmed by the US Attorney’s Office in New York. In addition, he has been ordered to surrender his passport and will require permission to travel outside of Washington, DC, New York City, and Long Island.

On Wednesday, Republican politician George Santos faced seven charges of wire fraud, two counts of making materially untrue statements to the House of Representatives, and a single theft of public funds, three counts of money laundering. Following his arraignment, Santos held a press conference stating that he had been compliant throughout the investigation but referred to the indictment as a “witch hunt” and pledged to fight the charges against him.

The future of Congressman George Santos remains uncertain after he was charged with the above charges. Santos, who has faced previous calls for resignation due to his history of lies and fabrications, announced that he has no intention of stepping down from his seat and will still run for reelection in the upcoming year.

House Speaker Takes a Cautious Approach to Rep. Santos’ Future

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has stated that he will wait to call for Congressman George Santos’ resignation following his recent indictment on fraud charges. Speaking to CNN, McCarthy expressed concern over the allegations against Santos but stated that he would wait to see how the trial proceeds before making any decisions. However, he later indicated that he would not support Santos’ reelection bid due to the ongoing legal issues.

McCarthy confirmed that he would call for Congressman George Santos’ resignation if the Ethics Committee determined he broke the law. Santos is facing federal charges of soliciting campaign funds under pretense and misusing them for personal expenses. The indictment accuses Santos of carrying out a fraudulent political contribution solicitation scheme by setting up a company and misleading supporters to contribute funds to it under the pretense that the money would benefit his political campaign.

According to a statement by US Attorney Breon Peace, the allegations in the indictment portray Santos as using repeated dishonesty and deception to reach Congress and enrich himself. The statement further states that the Congressman solicited political contributions to benefit himself, falsely applied for pandemic-related unemployment benefits that should have gone to deserving New Yorkers, and lied to the House of Representatives.

The Indictment Alleges Fraudulent Covid-19 Unemployment Benefits Application by Santos

Congressman George Santos, who represents a district encompassing parts of Queens and Long Island, has been the subject of an investigation by the House Ethics Committee and multiple jurisdictions. According to a law enforcement source, he was arrested in Melville and taken to the Central Islip courthouse. While he has admitted to making false statements about his education and finances, he denies the more serious allegations against him and has not confessed to any crimes.

According to the indictment, Santos falsely claimed to be unemployed when he applied for a pandemic-related unemployment insurance program. Despite being employed at an investment firm and earning $120,000 annually, prosecutors allege that he received regular deposits except for one period in July and August 2020. The indictment claims that he worked at the firm between February 2020 and mid-April 2021.

However, because of his alleged repeated false assertions about the unemployment program, Santos received $24,744 in benefits. Although he has admitted to making some misleading claims, the Congressman has not admitted to any crimes and continues to deny the serious allegations. According to a law enforcement source, the Congressman was taken into custody in Melville and transported to the courthouse in Central Islip. He has been investigated in multiple jurisdictions and by the House Ethics Committee.

Santos Accused of Making False Statements on House Disclosure Reports

According to the indictment, Santos is accused of making false statements on multiple financial disclosure reports to the House of Representatives during his two congressional campaigns. Financial disclosures are required for all candidates running for Congress, and they must provide a complete picture of the candidate’s finances, including assets and income. Santos allegedly submitted two financial disclosures to the House during his first congressional race in 2020, which contained false statements.

Specifically, Santos reported that he had earned $55,000 in salary, commission, and bonuses from a company referred to as “Company #2” in the indictment. In addition, Santos falsely reported in his 2020 financial disclosure that he earned $55,000 in salary, commission, and bonuses from “Company #2.” However, prosecutors allege that he only received $27,555 from the company. Santos also neglected to disclose his salary from an unnamed investment firm. This pattern of behavior continued when Santos filed his 2022 financial disclosure, which he submitted for the election he won, according to the indictment.

The form indicated that he had earned $750,000 in salary from the Devolder Organization LLC, with unearned income that included dividends valued between $1,000,001 and $5,000,000 in 2021 and 2022. Santos also declared that he did not have compensation exceeding $5,000 from a single source with an ownership interest. In addition, he claimed ownership of a checking account with deposits totaling between $100,001 and $250,000 and a savings account with deposits valued between $1,000,001 and $5,000,000.