Home Top Stories George Santos charged with conspiracy, wire fraud and more

George Santos charged with conspiracy, wire fraud and more

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George Santos charged with conspiracy, wire fraud and more

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New York Rep. George Santos was charged in a superseding indictment Tuesday with conspiracy, wire fraud, false statements, falsification of records, aggravated identity theft and credit card fraud.

Santos was originally indicted in May by federal prosecutors on several other counts including money laundering and theft of public funds.

Prosecutors filed the 23-count superseding indictment against the New York Republican in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Here are the charges he faces:

  • One count of conspiracy to commit offenses 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 records submitted to obstruct the FEC
  • Two counts of aggravated identity theft
  • One count of access device fraud

These new counts have been added to the charges in the original indictment against him:

  • Seven counts of wire fraud
  • Three counts of money laundering
  • One count of theft of public funds
  • Two counts of making materially false statements to the United States House of Representatives 

U.S. Attorney Breon Stacy Peace said in a statement that 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.”

“Santos falsely inflated the campaign’s reported receipts with non-existent loans and contributions that were either fabricated or stolen,” Peace said. 

Representatives for Santos’ office and his defense attorney did not respond to CBS News’ requests for comment.

Santos, a freshman congressman who represents New York’s 3rd Congressional District, has been dogged by allegations that he inflated his resume and lied about his past experience to bolster his election chances in his 2022 political campaign. He has admitted that he “embellished” his resume. He has spent much of his tenure in Congress haunted by questions about his education and professional experience, as well as his finances and campaign spending.

Last week, Santos’ ex-campaign treasurer, Nancy Marks, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud, admitting she fraudulently reported hundreds of thousands in fake loans that Santos had claimed he made to his campaign.

Marks and Santos, according to prosecutors in Marks’ case, allegedly carried out a fraudulent scheme to “obtain money for the campaign by submitting materially false reports to the FEC on behalf of the campaign.” In those reports, the two allegedly inflated the campaign’s fundraising numbers, saying that Santos had loaned his campaign $500,000 when he hadn’t done so — and lacked the funds to make a contribution of that size. 

In order to qualify for financial and logistical support from the Republican National Committee, Santos had to show that his congressional campaign had raised at least $250,000 from third-party contributors in a quarter. According to a Justice Department news release, Santos and Marks agreed to falsely report to the FEC that “at least 10” members of Santos’ and Marks’ families had made “significant financial contributions to the campaign,” even though the two “knew that these individuals had neither made the reported contributions nor given authorization for their personal information to be included in such false public reports.”

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

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