Central Islip, NY – A 23-count superseding indictment was filed today in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York charging U.S. Representative George Anthony Devolder Santos, Third District ) (better known as “George Santos”), New York, one count of conspiracy to commit crimes against the United States, two counts of wire fraud, two counts of making materially false statements to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Two counts of falsifying the submission of records to obstruct the Federal Election Commission, in addition to seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds and two counts of materially false statements to the United Nations. state House of Representatives charged in the original indictment with larceny and one count of access device fraud. Santos is due back in Central Islip federal court on October 27, 2023.
Breon Peace, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Nicole M. Argentieri, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, James Smith, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office, and Anne T. Donnelly, Nassau County District Attorney (Anne T. Donnelly) A superseding indictment was announced.
“As alleged, Santos is accused of stealing people’s identities and charging his own donor credit cards without the donor’s authorization, lying to the Federal Election Commission and, in turn, lying to the public about his campaign’s finances. “Santos falsely inflated the campaign’s reported income with nonexistent loans and contributions that were either fabricated or stolen,” U.S. Attorney Pease said. “This office will work tirelessly to pursue criminal charges against anyone who exploits the election process as a way to defraud the public and government agencies.”
“Santos allegedly led multiple additional fraudulent criminal schemes and lied to the American public in the process. The FBI is committed to upholding the laws of our election process. Anyone who attempts to violate the laws as part of a political campaign will face The punishment of the criminal justice system,” said FBI Assistant Director Smith.
“The defendant, a congressman, allegedly stole the identities of family members and used political donors’ credit card information to fraudulently increase his campaign coffers,” said District Attorney Donnelly. “We thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Together with our partners at the FBI, we work together to root out public corruption on Long Island.”
As alleged in the superseding indictment, Santos, who was elected to Congress last November and sworn in as U.S. Representative for New York’s 3rd Congressional District on January 7, 2023, engaged in, in addition to multiple fraud schemes alleged in the complaint, Two schemes to defraud. The original indictment.
party program plan
In the 2022 election cycle, Santos is a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in New York’s 3rd Congressional District. Nancy Marks, who was the treasurer of Devold-Santos Congress, his main congressional campaign committee, pleaded guilty on Oct. 5, 2023. During this election cycle, Santos and Marquez conspired with each other to design and execute a fraudulent scheme to obtain campaign funds by inflating the campaign’s fundraising numbers by submitting materially false reports to the Federal Election Commission on behalf of the campaign. . Misled the Federal Election Commission, state party offices and the public.
Specifically, the purpose of the plan is to ensure that Santos and his campaign team are eligible to participate in a program administered by the National Party Committee, under which the National Party Committee will provide financial and logistical support to Santos’ campaign. To qualify for the program, Santos must prove, among other things, that his congressional campaign raised at least $250,000 from third-party donors in a quarter.
In order to give the public the impression that his campaign had met financial benchmarks and was otherwise financially viable, Santos and Marquez agreed to falsely report to the Federal Election Commission that at least 10 of Santos and Marquez’s family members had made contributions to the campaign. Santos and Marquez knew at the time that these individuals had neither made the reported contributions nor authorized the inclusion of their personal information in such false public reports. Additionally, Santos and Marquez learned that the National Party Committee relied on FEC fundraising data to evaluate candidates’ eligibility for the program and therefore agreed to falsely represent to the FEC that Santos had loaned the campaign substantial funds, when in fact, Santos had not The loans reported were made and, at the time the loans were reported, the funds required to make such loans were not available. The falsely reported loans included a $500,000 loan, while Santos’ personal and business bank accounts contained less than $8,000.
By executing the plan, Santos and Marquez ensured that Santos met the necessary financial benchmarks to qualify for the plan administered by the National Party Committee. Congressional campaigns receive financial support as a result of qualifying for the program.
Credit Card Fraud Scheme
Additionally, between approximately December 2021 and August 2022, Santos designed and executed a fraudulent scheme to steal the personal identities and financial information of contributors to his campaign. He then charged contributors’ credit cards multiple times without their authorization. As a result of these unauthorized transactions, funds were transferred to Santos’ campaign, the campaigns of other candidates for elected office, and his own bank account. In order to conceal the true source of these funds and circumvent campaign contribution limits, Santos falsely claimed that some of the campaign contributions were made by others (such as his relatives or associates) rather than the true card holders. Santos has no right to use their names in this manner.
For example, in December 2021, a contributor (“Contributor”) texted Santos and others requesting donations to his campaign, providing billing information for two credit cards. In the days after receiving the billing information, Santos used the credit card information to make numerous contributions to his campaign and affiliated political committees in amounts that exceeded applicable contribution limits without the knowledge or authorization of the donors. . In order to conceal the true source of these contributions and thereby circumvent applicable campaign contribution limits, Santos mistakenly identified the donor of one of the charges as one of his relatives. Over the next several months, Santos repeatedly charged donors’ credit cards without their knowledge or authorization, attempting to collect at least $44,800 in fees, and repeatedly concealed the true source of the funds, falsely Listing the source of the funds as Santos himself, his relatives and others. Contributors. At one point, Santos charged $12,000 to a contributor’s credit card, eventually transferring most of the money to his personal bank account.
The charges in the superseding indictment are accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The government’s cases are handled by the office’s Public Integrity Section, the Long Island Criminal Division and the Public Integrity Section of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ryan Harris, Anthony Bagnuola and Laura Zuckerwise and trial attorneys Jacob Steiner and John Taddei are prosecuting, assisted by Paralegal Specialist Rachel Friedman. Former trial attorney Joely Porter of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section also made significant contributions to the prosecution.
EDNY Docket No. 23-CR-197 (JS)