Santos’ bail co-signers revealed as father, aunt

Santos’ bail co-signers revealed as father, aunt
U.S. Rep. George Santos. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Embattled U.S. Rep. George Santos was bailed out of jail by two unknown individuals in May.

After weeks of refusing to reveal the names and fighting federal court rulings, court documents unsealed Thursday reveal the co-signers to be his father and aunt.

Santos’ father Gercino dos Santos Jr. and his aunt Elma Preven signed a $500,000 unsecured bond that bailed the representative out of jail after his arrest for 13 federal charges.

As the bond is unsecured, Santos’ father and aunt did not have to put down any cash or property to bail out the representative.

The two family members are responsible for Santos to appear in court and follow the terms of his release. If he does not, they would then be responsible for paying the $500,000 bond.

Under his bond agreement, Santos, who is running for re-election, may travel between New York and Washington, D.C., but must obtain advance permission for other trips.

For weeks, the representative and his attorney have fought the unsealing of the co-signers names, saying that Santos would rather go to jail than release their names.

Santos, infamous for his deception that resulted in his election to federal office, pleaded not guilty last month to a 13-count federal indictment.

This included 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.

The 3rd District representative was arrested following the charges and released on a $500,000 bail bond that was co-signed by three individuals. Santos refused to release the names of the individuals, one of which repealed their sponsorship due to media coverage of the arrest.

News outlets, such as the AP and The New York Times, requested for the names of the co-signers to be released for transparency in the representative’s affairs.

A federal court ruling made by Federal Magistrate Judge Anne Shields determined that Santos had to reveal the names of the co-signers on his $500,000 bond.

Santos and his attorney Joseph Murray, whose law office is located in Great Neck, fought the ruling through a June 9 appeal.

The appeal letter from Murray stated that a “media frenzy” has ensued in the wake of 13 federal fraud charges granted filed on May 9 against Santos and his arrest the following day.

“​​These attacks have been extremely angry, anti-gay, anti-Republican and all around anti-social,” Murray states in the letter. “Moreover, even the government recognizes the unique and potentially dangerous/harassing environment that Defendant has been subjected to in that the government was so kind to offer assistance for Defendant entering the courthouse on May 10, 2023, by avoiding the mass of media that had appeared at the courthouse.”

Murray stated in the letter that releasing the names of the co-signers of his bail bond would subject them to the same harassment. He said due to the political climate, the threat of political violence, the co-signers’ ages and employment, their privacy interests are “more concerning.”

He said that if their names are released, it is “very likely” the co-signers, who we now know are Santos’ father and aunt, will withdraw as well land may subject Santos to pretrial detention and more onerous conditions.

It has not been revealed whether or not the two have now withdrawn due to their names being publicized.

There were originally three guarantors to secure Santos’s release, Murray said. But one of those people “had a change of heart” and withdrew their support, Mr. Murray wrote. He appeared to imply that the reversal was related to the media scrutiny of Mr. Santos’s legal case.

Santos has admitted to lying about his education and work history. But he has not
addressed other inconsistencies and has equivocated when asked about his business dealings and how they related to his political efforts.

Federal prosecutors accused Mr. Santos of orchestrating a scheme to solicit political contributions that he used for personal expenses; of fraudulently receiving more than $24,000 in pandemic unemployment benefits while he was actually employed; and of knowingly making false statements on House financial disclosure forms.

Santos is also being investigated by the House Ethics Committee. Republican House members rejected a Democratic proposal to expel Santos from the House.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert decided that the names were to be disclosed to the public.

Santos’ next court appearance is scheduled for June 30.

If convicted of the top charges, Santos could face up to 20 years in prison.

Despite facing criminal charges and jail time, Santos has been adamant in running for re-election in 2024.

In an interview on Fox & Friends Monday, Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (CA-20) laughed when co-host co-host Brian Kilmeade asked him if he was a part of Santo’s re-election campaign.

McCarthy said that he is not a part of Santos’ campaign and said the embattled representative should not run again.

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