George Santos was arrested after turning himself in to authorities in federal court on Long Island Wednesday morning.
The congressman from New York’s Third District, who won his election after a campaign riddled with lies about his past, was arrested shortly after 9 a.m. He slipped past dozens of reporters to enter through a back door of the building.
Santos has been charged with seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds and two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives, according to the indictment unsealed Wednesday.
Federal prosecutors accused Santos of lying on the financial disclosure forms he filed with the House when he became a candidate. The first charge alleges that he exaggerated income from one job and failed to disclose income from another. The second alleges that he lied about the earnings of his company, the Devolder Organization.
Prosecutors also allege that Mr. Santos fraudulently used donations to his political campaign for his own gain, spending “thousands of dollars of the requested funds on personal expenses, including luxury designer clothing and credit card payments.” .
Santos is also charged with an unemployment insurance fraud scheme prior to his successful campaign in Congress in which he applied for government assistance in New York while still working for a Florida-based investment firm.
The arrest marks a rapid rise and fall for a man denounced as an “impostor” by his own constituents.
Santos was elected to represent New York’s 3rd Congressional District in November 2022, defeating Democrat Robert Zimmerman by a margin of 54% to 46%. Shortly after that victory, it emerged that Mr. Santos had lied about much of his personal background and work experience.
TO New York Times The investigation found that he had lied about working for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, lied about the university he attended, made up an animal charity, which the company from which he had earned a $750,000 salary and $1 million dividends did not had an online presence, lied that he lost four employees in the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in 2016, and that he was facing criminal charges in Brazil for check fraud.
A local pressure group started by local citizens was formed with the goal of forcing Santos out of office. They held regular protests outside his campaign office and called on Republican leaders to expel him from Congress, but House Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the person with the power to call the vote, refused to to do so and left his fate in the hands of the Chamber of Ethics. Committee.
Since Santos took office in January, revelations about his past have continued to surface. The most recent report found that Mr. Santos was accused of writing bad checks to buy puppies from Amish farmers in 2017.
Santos, 34, apologized for what he described as “resumé embellishment” but refused to resign.