U.S. Rep. George Santos was charged with 10 new criminal counts Tuesday evening in a superseding indictment filed in federal court alleging he stole the identities and credit card information of his campaign donors.
Santos,35, pleaded not guilty in May to a 13-count indictment that charged him with seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds and two counts of making materially false statements to Congress. If convicted of the top charges, Santos could face up to 20 years in prison.
The 10 new charges Santos is accused of included one count of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States, two counts of wire fraud, two counts of lying to the Federal Election Commission, two counts of falsifying records, two counts of aggravated identify theft and one count of device fraud.
Tuesday’s charges against Santos come days after his ex-treasurer Nancy Marks pleaded guilty to conspiring with Santos to commit wire fraud, make materially false statements, obstruct the administration of the Federal Election Commission and commit aggravated identity theft.
Santos told reporters in Washington he had not checked his phone yet and that he has no comment on the indictments, according to multiple reports.
Efforts to reach Santos’ lawyer, Joseph Murray, were unavailing.
Prosecutors allege Santos filed fraudulent reports with the FEC and repeatedly charged credit cards of his campaign donors without their authorization.
“Santos falsely inflated the campaign’s reported receipts with non-existent loans and contributions that were either fabricated or stolen” U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement. “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.”
Santos, who was first elected to represent the state’s 3rd Congressional District in 2020, was exposed by the New York Times and other media outlets earlier this year for his fraudulent resume.
If Santos–who has repeatedly refused to step down–were to resign and vacate his seat, a special election to replace him would be held.
Prosecutors allege that Santos and Marks inflated campaign filings to qualify for a national Republican Party program that would provide support to his campaign if it raised at least $250,000 from third-party contributors in a single quarter. The campaign eventually received a financial report from the program.
Santos and Marks allegedly agreed to report that their family members made significant contributions to the campaign and Santos himself reported a $500,000 loan when he had less than $8,000 in his personal and business bank accounts, prosecutors said.
Between approximately December 2021 and August 2022, Santos allegedly stole the identities and financial information of contributors to his campaign, according to prosecutors.
Santos charged their credit cards and transferred funds to his and other candidates’ campaigns and his personal bank account, prosecutors
Santos allegedly charged $12,000 to one contributor’s credit card and transferred the majority of it to his personal bank account.
“The defendant – a Congressman – allegedly stole the identities of family members and used the credit card information of political contributors to fraudulently inflate his campaign coffers,” Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly said in a statement. “We thank our partners in the US Attorney’s Office and the FBI as we work together to root out public corruption on Long Island.”
The Nassau County DA’s Office was part of the Santos investigation.