(RightWing.org) – When a typically Conservative newspaper begins its endorsement for an area seat in the House of Representatives with these words, “This newspaper would like to endorse a Republican for US Congress in NY3,” one would be justified in wondering just who is running for office on the GOP ticket that they don’t like. The target of their exposé, George Santos, is now facing serious charges for allegedly committing a series of felonies.
Fraud and Deceit
In a May 10 press release, federal prosecutors said, “a 13 count indictment was unsealed today in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York” in their case against Santos. The statement went on to say that he is facing:
- 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 House of Representatives
Many of the allegations revolve around his campaigns for Congress in 2020 and 2022 but count III of the indictment is about defrauding the government of the state of New York.
Near the beginning of the pandemic that shut down America and much of the world, part of the package of relief programs put in place included the “Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program” and the “Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program.” Prosecutors allege Santos illegally used those funds.
The indictment alleges that Santos “certified his continuing eligibility for unemployment benefits” from approximately June 19, 2020, through about April 15, 2021, on a weekly basis. This means he continually told the government he was out of work, but prosecutors contend that except for a roughly two-month period within those dates, his bank records show he was receiving money from his $120,000 per year job as the regional director of an unnamed company.
Santos has already admitted to some minor shenanigans by padding his resume, claiming to have worked for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup on Wall Street. He also said he earned a degree from Baruch College, which turned out to be another fabrication. On a much more serious note, according to the New York Times (NYT), the congressman was charged with and confessed to forging his signature on two checks from the account of a man whom his mother was caring for in Brazil.
The NYT article claims they were able to review documents that allege Santos used the checks to buy two pairs of shoes in 2008, and he confessed to it two years later. It goes on to say that the case was mothballed because the congressman did not respond to an official summons, and they could not find him at the address he had provided. A follow-up story confirms that Brazilian officials intend to reopen the case and will make an official notification to him through the Justice Department now that his whereabouts are known.
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