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LONG ISLAND, NY – U.S. Rep. George Santos – the controversial New York republican who infamously lied regarding numerous aspects of his life, education, and business experiences while campaigning – has been arrested on federal criminal charges for allegedly utilizing campaign funds for personal expenses, according to the United States Attorney’s Office.
Santos was arrested Wednesday morning, with Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly alleging in the indictment that the embattled Congressman embezzled contributions from supporters, fraudulently obtained unemployment benefits, and lied in disclosures to the House of Representatives.
“At the height of the pandemic in 2020, George Santos allegedly applied for and received unemployment benefits while he was employed and running for Congress,” stated Donnelly. “As charged in the indictment, the defendant’s alleged behavior continued during his second run for Congress when he pocketed campaign contributions and used that money to pay down personal debts and buy designer clothing.”
In addition, the indictment describes Santos’s alleged efforts to mislead the House of Representatives and the public about his financial condition in connection with each of his two Congressional campaigns.
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“This indictment seeks to hold Santos accountable for various alleged fraudulent schemes and brazen misrepresentations,” said United States Attorney Breon Peace. “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. 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 grew into infamy after being elected to Congress last fall after it was revealed that many of the statements he made during his campaign were false, including claims that he was a rich Wall Street investor with a vast real estate portfolio and had been a star volleyball player in college.
In reality, he had never been employed by any of the financial firms he had claimed to work for, had never attended college, and had struggled to pay rent and faced multiple evictions before running for office.
These revelations ended up being the mere tip of the iceberg in terms of the falsehoods he allegedly told throughout his campaign, leading to calls from both sides of the political aisle to resign that he refused to heed.
Santos is expected to make an initial court appearance on Wednesday at a federal courthouse on Long Island, NY.
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