By Steve Neavling
U.S. Rep. George Santos, the scandal-plagued New York Republican who fabricated most of his background, has been charged again in a new 10-count indictment, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.
Santos has been charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, false statements, identity theft and other charges.
In May, Santos was charged with 13 felonies ranging from financial crimes, lying, theft, misappropriating donor money for personal gain and claiming unemployment benefits while he had a well-paying job.
Prosecutors allege Santos ran a scheme using the credit cards of his political donors. He’s also accused of trying to scam the national Republican Party.
“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,” U.S. Attorney Breon Peace of the Eastern District of New York said in a statement. “Santos falsely inflated the campaign’s reported receipts with non-existent loans and contributions that were either fabricated or stolen. This Office will relentlessly pursue criminal charges against anyone who uses the electoral process as an opportunity to defraud the public and our government institutions.”
Less than a week before the most recent charges, Santos’ former campaign treasurer Nancy Marks pleaded guilty to felony charges in connection to her work for Santos’ campaign. She faces up to five years in prison.
Santos’ campaign spending caught the attention of authorities because of the unusual payments for travel, lodging and other items.
Despite controversies over his fabrications about his education, heritage and professional pedigree, Santos has repeatedly said he plans to serve his full term. He’s also denied any criminal wrongdoing.
In April, he announced he’s running for reelection in 2024 to represent New York’s 3rd District.
“Santos allegedly led multiple additional fraudulent criminal schemes, lying to the American public in the process,” James Smith, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office, said. “The FBI is committed to upholding the laws of our electoral process. Anyone who attempts to violate the law as part of a political campaign will face punishment in the criminal justice system.”