House Representative George Santos Indicted on 13 Federal Charges

A federal grand jury in the Eastern District of New York has indicted George Santos, a Republican U.S. Representative for New York’s 3rd congressional district, on 13 charges of wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds, and making materially false statements to the House of Representatives.

The indictment alleges that Santos, 32, used a company he controlled to solicit and receive more than $300,000 in campaign contributions from investors in a fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme. Santos then used the money for personal expenses, including luxury clothing, travel, and rent.

The indictment also alleges that Santos falsely claimed to be unemployed in order to receive more than $10,000 in unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. Santos was employed as a regional director of an investment firm at the time he applied for and received the benefits.

Finally, the indictment alleges that Santos made materially false statements to the House of Representatives about his financial interests in the cryptocurrency scheme and his unemployment benefits.

Santos is scheduled to appear in federal court in Central Islip, New York, on Wednesday, May 10th, 2023. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison on each count of wire fraud and money laundering, and up to five years in prison on each count of theft of public funds and making materially false statements.

The charges against Santos are the latest in a series of high-profile cases involving alleged financial crimes by members of Congress. In 2019, former U.S. Representative Chris Collins, a Republican from New York, was convicted of insider trading and sentenced to 26 months in prison. In 2020, former U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter, a Republican from California, was convicted of using campaign funds for personal expenses and sentenced to 11 months in prison.

The charges against Santos remind us that even members of Congress are not above the law.