George Santos defies calls to resign, pushes on with re-election bid


Requested about Santos on Wednesday, Biden mentioned, “I’m not commenting,” including that something he mentioned can be construed by some interfering within the investigation. Requested if Congress ought to expel Santos, Biden mentioned, “That’s for Congress to determine.”

George Santos.

George Santos.Credit score: AP

Among the many allegations, prosecutors say Santos created an organization after which induced supporters to donate to it below the false pretense that the cash can be used to assist his marketing campaign. As a substitute, they are saying, he used the cash for private bills, together with designer garments and bank card and automotive funds.

Santos is also accused of mendacity about his funds on congressional disclosure varieties and acquiring unemployment advantages whereas he was making $US120,000 as regional director of an funding agency that the federal government shut down in 2021 over allegations that it was a Ponzi scheme.

The indictment “seeks to carry Santos accountable for varied alleged fraudulent schemes and brazen misrepresentations,” US Legal professional Breon Peace mentioned.

“Taken collectively, the allegations within the indictment cost Santos with counting on repeated dishonesty and deception to ascend to the halls of Congress and enrich himself.”


Santos didn’t straight deal with the specifics of the costs to reporters, however when requested why he acquired unemployment advantages whereas employed, Santos cited a job change and confusion throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Santos, sporting his normal crewneck sweater, blazer and khakis, mentioned little throughout the arraignment, which lasted about quarter-hour. Reporters spilled from the gallery to the jury field, joined by a handful of constituents.

“He needs to be thrown out of Congress and put in jail,” declared Jeff Herzberg, a Lengthy Island resident who spent hours ready to see Santos’ arraignment. “I hope that day comes quickly.”

Santos was elected to Congress final fall after a marketing campaign constructed partly on falsehoods. He informed individuals he was a rich Wall Avenue dealmaker with a considerable actual property portfolio who had been a star volleyball participant in school, amongst different issues.

In actuality, Santos didn’t work on the massive monetary companies he mentioned employed him, didn’t go to varsity and struggled financially earlier than coming into politics. He claimed he fuelled his run largely with self-made riches earned from brokering offers on costly toys for rich purchasers, however the indictment alleges these boasts have been additionally exaggerated.

In a Home monetary disclosure kind, Santos reported making $US750,000 a yr from a household firm, the Devolder Organisation, however the prices unsealed Wednesday allege that Santos by no means acquired that sum, nor the $1 million and $5 million in dividends he listed as coming from the agency.

Santos has described the Devolder Organisation as a dealer for gross sales of luxurious objects like yachts and plane. The enterprise was integrated in Florida shortly after Santos stopped working for Harbor Metropolis Capital, the corporate accused by federal authorities of working an unlawful Ponzi scheme.

In November 2021, Santos fashioned Redstone Methods, a Florida firm that federal prosecutors say he used to dupe donors into financing his way of life. Based on the indictment, Santos informed an affiliate to solicit contributions to the corporate and gave the individual contact data for potential donors.

Emails to potential donors falsely claimed the corporate was fashioned “completely” to help Santos’ election bid and that there can be no limits on how a lot they may contribute, the indictment mentioned. Santos falsely claimed the cash can be spent on tv advertisements and different marketing campaign bills, it mentioned.

However a month earlier than his election, Santos transferred about $US74,000 from the corporate to financial institution accounts he maintained, the indictment mentioned. He additionally transferred cash to a few of his associates, it mentioned.

Santos’ authorized troubles date to his late teenagers, when he was investigated in Brazil for allegedly utilizing stolen checks to purchase garments — a case that authorities say they’ve since reopened.

In 2017, Santos was charged with theft in Pennsylvania for allegedly utilizing hundreds of {dollars} in bogus checks to purchase puppies from breeders. That case was dismissed after Santos claimed his checkbook was stolen and another person took the canines.

Federal authorities have individually been trying into complaints about Santos’ fundraising for a gaggle that purported to assist abused pets. A New Jersey veteran accused Santos of failing to ship $US3000 he raised to assist his canine get wanted surgical procedure.

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