George Santos Charged With 13 Counts Including Wire Fraud + More

Rep. George Santos (R-NY) addresses reporters after being indicted on 13 federal charges

Truth-challenged Rep. George Santos (R-NY) was charged today with 13 counts including wire fraud, money laundering, stealing public funds and lying on federal disclosure forms.

George Santos Charged With 13 Counts Including Wire Fraud + More
(graphic via NY Times)

The indictment alleges Santos was involved in 3 separate schemes:

1. Prosecutors say Santos and another individual identified as Person #1 persuaded two political supporters to each donate $25,000 to his campaign fund, but then diverted the $50,000 to Santos’s personal bank account where he used the funds for his own benefit including buying “luxury designer clothing” and make credit card payments.

2. Santos is also accused of claiming pandemic-related unemployment benefits totaling $24,744 while he was employed as a Regional Director of a Florida-based investment company receiving a $120,000 annual salary.

3. Plus, prosecutors say Santos knowingly made false statements on financial disclosure forms filed during both his failed 2020 campaign and his 2022 campaign with the purpose of misleading the public and the House of Representatives. Additionally, he’s accused of falsely inflating his salary during both campaigns as well as failing to disclose some income.

The New York Times has an interactive annotated copy of the indictment which explains the charges in more detail as you scroll.

If convicted, Santos could face up to 20 years in prison for the top counts.

The 34-year-old pleaded not guilty to all charges in a federal courtroom on Long Island Wednesday afternoon.

He was released on $500,000 bond that was provided by three unnamed individuals. The judge ordered his travel to be restricted to Washington, New York, and locations in between.

Adding to Santo’s legal woes, the New York Times is also reporting today that Brazilian law enforcement authorities have scheduled a hearing for Thursday regarding a 2008 allegation of check fraud against Santos.

Upon leaving the courthouse, Santos gave a press conference wherein he followed the Donald Trump playbook by invoking the words “witch hunt.”