Embattled Republican Representative George Santos of New York is now facing more criminal charges.
On Tuesday, a new indictment was filed that charges Santos with stealing some of his donors’ identities, and using their credit card information to spend tens of thousands of dollars in what ultimately were unauthorized charges.
Prosecutors in the case have said that Santos found a way to take the stolen money from his donors and get it into his personal bank account.
The new indictment handed down this week includes 234 counts, and replaces another indictment that was filed previously against Santos. The original indictment included charges of lying to Congress about his personal wealth and embezzling money from his own political campaign.
The new criminal charges allege that he charged his own campaign more than $44,000 over a few months, and used credit cards that belonged to some of the contributors to his campaign. Those donors were unaware that this was happening.
In one particular case, Santos is alleged to have charged $12,000 to someone’s credit card, and then transferred the “vast majority” of that total to his personal bank account, according to prosecutors.
In addition, he’s being accused of telling the Federal Elections Commission that he loaned his campaign $500,000 so that he could prove to officials in the Republican Party that he was indeed a serious political candidate. The indictment alleges that Santos only had about $8,000 in all of his personal financial accounts at the time.
In a statement this week, U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said:
“As alleged, Santos is charged with stealing people’s identities and making charges on his own donors’ credit cards without their authorization, lying to the FEC and, by extension, the public about the financial state of his campaign.”
While Santos didn’t respond to media calls seeking comment on this latest indictment, he has continually denied all of the charges brought against him in the past, insisting that he is just the victim of a political “witch hunt.”
Many people have called for Santos to resign ever since the original charges were brought against him. Yet, he’s resisted all of those calls, insisting instead that he has plans to seek re-election in next November’s general election.
Yet, if he is convicted on the charges that have been brought against him, he’d likely spend a lot of time in prison.
Santos allegedly sought to deceive people right from the start of his political campaign. He created a professional and personal biography that painted him as a wealthy businessman.
But, not long after he actually won election to represent the people of Queens and Long Island, his lies began to quickly unravel.
It has been proven that Santos lied about his background on Wall Street, his purported achievements in athletics and academics, his holdings in real estate, his work for animal rescue organizations and even his heritage as a Jew.
Santos has been free on bail since he was arrested in May on the original 13-count federal indictment. What his future looks like at this point, after the new indictment was announced this week, is up in the air.