New York Representative George Santos was arrested and charged with 13 criminal charges, including money laundering, theft of public money, wire fraud and making false statements to Congress.
In an indictment unsealed Wednesday, federal prosecutors outlined three major fraud schemes that Santos orchestrated to enrich himself.
One of the schemes included tricking supporters and donors into giving him money that Mr. Santos allegedly used for personal expenses like buying designer clothes and credit card payments.
Another alleges that Mr. Santos attempted to receive unemployment benefits through New York State.
The latter alleges that Santos lied about his personal finances when he disclosed them to the House of Representatives during his campaign.
Santos turned himself in to authorities in federal court on Long Island Wednesday morning.
Here’s a breakdown of the charges Santos faces from each scheme.
Fraud scheme: five counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering
According to the unsealed indictment, between September and October 2022, Mr. Santos allegedly “knowingly and intentionally devised a plan and contrivance to defraud and obtain money by means of one or more materially false and fraudulent pretenses, presentations, and promises.” .
Federal prosecutors accused Santos of lying to donors and supporters by pitching a Florida LLC company, which Santos served as manager through another company, as a fund for his House campaign.
The indictment alleges that Mr. Santos told donors and supporters that Florida LLC was a Section 501(c)(4) welfare organization, or an independent spending committee, when it was not.
Three of the wire fraud counts allege that Mr. Santos falsely told two anonymous donors that the funds would be used to support his House bid through the purchase of television advertisements.
However, Mr. Santos allegedly used the money received for personal expenses, “including to make cash withdrawals, personal purchases of luxury designer clothing, credit card payments, a car payment, personal debt payments, and a or more bank transfers to Devolder Santos. personal associates.”
The three money laundering charges allege that Mr. Santos electronically transferred $24,000 – $25,000 of the money that donors sent to the Florida company into their personal bank accounts.
Unemployment benefit scheme: one count of theft of public money and two counts of wire fraud
Federal prosecutors assert that Mr. Santos “knowingly and intentionally devised a scheme to defraud the NYS DOL (New York State Department of Labor) and to obtain money from the NYS DOL by means of one or more pretexts, materially false representations and fraudulent.” and promises.”
These charges are related to Mr. Santos’ alleged scheme to falsely request and claim $24,744 in New York unemployment benefits in 2020.
Mr. Santos allegedly filed for unemployment claiming he was eligible for benefits through the CARES Act when in fact he was the regional director of a Florida-based investment firm earning an annual salary of $120,000.
False Statements to the House of Representatives: Two Counts of Making False Statements
The indictment alleges that Mr. Santos “knowingly and willfully” made false statements in his personal financial disclosure reports to the Clerk of the House that were submitted to the House Ethics Committee.
In one charge, federal prosecutors allege Santos exaggerated the amount of money he earned from a single source in May 2020 as $55,000 when he actually earned $27,555 from a business and $25,403 in income from an investment firm.
The other charge alleges that Santos falsely reported the amount of money he earned from 2021 to the filing date in September 2022.
Mr. Santos claimed in his personal financial statement that he earned $750,000 from Devolder Organization LLC, had earned unearned dividends from the company of $1 million to $5 million, owned a checking account with $100,000 to $250,000, and owned a savings account with $1 million to $5 million.
The indictment does not provide details about what the actual amounts were, but says that the reported amounts were not true.
It also says Santos failed to report the $28,107 he earned from an investment firm or the unemployment insurance benefits he received from New York.
the independent has reached out to Mr. Santos’ office and his legal team for comment.