George Santos Is In Custody After Being Charged With 13 Crimes
This article was originally published by Them.
Republican Congressman George Santos has been taken into federal custody after being charged on 13 counts, ranging from money laundering to fraud to lying about his finances.
Santos was arrested Wednesday after the indictment was unsealed that morning, according to a press release from the Department of Justice. The Congressman allegedly induced supporters to contribute to a company under the false pretense that the money would support his political campaign, but then spent “thousands of dollars” of those funds on personal expenses like luxury designer clothing and credit card payments. Santos also allegedly lied to receive unemployment benefits from the state of New York during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which people received an extra $600 weekly on top of regular unemployment insurance. He reportedly received $24,744 in unemployment insurance benefits, despite holding a position as a regional director at an investment firm and receiving a salary of $120,000 a year. Last but not least, he also allegedly made false statements about his income on his Financial Disclosure Statements, which he was required to file before running for office in both 2020 and 2022.
Santos is expected to appear in federal court in Central Islip, New York this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlene R. Lindsay.
Breon Peace, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said that the indictment “seeks to hold Santos accountable for various alleged fraudulent schemes and brazen misrepresentations.” “Taken together, the allegations in the indictment charge Santos with relying on repeated dishonesty and deception to ascend to the halls of Congress and enrich himself,” Peace said in the DOJ press release. “He used political contributions to line his pockets, unlawfully applied for unemployment benefits that should have gone to New Yorkers who had lost their jobs due to the pandemic, and lied to the House of Representatives.”
Santos was elected to represent New York’s third congressional district, consisting of parts of Long Island’s North Shore and parts of Queens, last November. The following month, the New York Times released a bombshell report alleging that many significant aspects of Santos’ resume had been fabricated, including that he worked for several prominent investment firms, that he held degrees from Baruch College and New York University, and that he ran a nonprofit animal rescue group. Although the Internal Revenue Service could find no record of the rescue group, Friends of Pets United, existing, Santos allegedly told an unhoused disabled veteran that he ran such an organization, started a GoFundMe for a life-saving surgery for the veteran’s dog, then disappeared with the funds once it hit $3,000. The dog died in 2017.
Santos has also falsely claimed that four of his employees were killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting, and even that his mother was killed as a result of 9/11 at the World Trade Center. (Both claims have been debunked.) Several of Santos’ ex-boyfriends also accused him of lying, manipulation, and entrapment, with one person even telling ABC News that a 25-year-old Santos tried to entice a Brazilian 19-year-old living in the country on a tourist visa with a green card marriage. Finally, when it came out that Santos had performed in drag in Brazil as a young adult, despite working with virulently anti-drag lawmakers such as Marjorie Taylor Greene, he attempted to deny those allegations wholesale, despite the fact that there was extensive photographic evidence.
Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue