George Santos Arrested on Charges of Money Laundering, Wire Fraud
Rep. George Santos (R-NY) was arrested Wednesday for money laundering, wire fraud, theft of public funds, and making false statements to Congress and is expected to appear in federal court for an arraignment Wednesday afternoon in New York.
Santos, a freshman member of Congress representing a portion of Long Island, is facing 13 charges total, according to an unsealed indictment announced by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York.
They include three counts of money laundering, seven counts of wire fraud, one count of theft of public funds, and two counts of making materially false statements to the U.S. House.
Since joining Congress, Santos has come under mounting scrutiny for fabricating substantial portions of his resume, which he misleadingly touted while running for office.
Santos has falsely claimed that he graduated from Baruch college, worked for CitiGroup and Goldman Sachs, that his mother died in the September 11 terrorist attacks, and more.
When confronted about some of his claims in December, weeks after winning his race, the congressman admitted to “embellishing” his life story in an interview with Fox News host Tulsi Gabbard.
“I made a mistake, and I think humans are flawed and we all make mistakes,” Santos said at the time.
He added, “I’m having to admit this on national television for the whole country to see, and I have the courage to do so because I believe that in order to move past this and move forward and be an effective member of Congress, I have to face my mistakes, and I’m facing them.”
The charges against Santos are related to incidents that allegedly occurred during the 2020 to 2022 timeframe.
The most severe charges could result in up to 20 years of prison.
“This indictment seeks to hold Santos accountable for various alleged fraudulent schemes and brazen misrepresentations,” said Breon Peace, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York. “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.
From the time that ethical concerns first surfaced about Santos in December, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has been bombarded with questions from the media about whether he believes Santos should resign.
McCarthy initially had stripped Santos of his committee assignments, but after Santos’s indictment was first announced Tuesday, the speaker told reporters he would allow the case to process through the justice system and likely ask Santos to resign only if he is convicted.