Rep. Santos faces new charges he stole donor IDs, made unauthorized charges to their credit cards

NEW YORK (AP) — A new indictment filed Tuesday charged U.S. Rep. George Santos with thieving the identities of donors to his marketing campaign and then employing their credit history cards to ring up tens of countless numbers of dollars in unauthorized rates.

Prosecutors mentioned some of that stolen income ended up in his individual lender account.

The 23-count indictment replaces a person submitted previously versus the New York Republican charging him with embezzling cash from his campaign and lying to Congress about his wealth, amid other offenses.

The new costs involve allegations that he charged more than $44,000 to his campaign above a interval of months utilizing playing cards belonging to contributors without the need of their knowledge. In a single scenario, he charged $12,000 to a contributor’s credit card and transferred the “vast majority” of that funds into his particular lender account, prosecutors stated.

Santos is also accused of falsely reporting to the Federal Elections Fee that he experienced loaned $500,000 to his marketing campaign in an endeavor to convince Republican Get together officers that he was a severe applicant, when he essentially experienced less than $8,000 in his personalized accounts.

“As alleged, Santos is billed with stealing people’s identities and generating rates on his very own donors’ credit history playing cards without having their authorization, lying to the FEC and, by extension, the public about the money condition of his marketing campaign,” U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement.

Santos did not quickly return a text and a telephone concept trying to find comment. He has formerly maintained his innocence, insisting he is the victim of a “witch hunt.”

The new charges deepen the lawful peril for Santos, who very likely faces a lengthy prison phrase if convicted. So much, he has resisted all calls to resign, insisting he intends to run for reelection up coming 12 months.

Santos’ own and professional biography as a wealthy businessman started to unravel soon immediately after profitable election to signify Lengthy Island and Queens past 12 months, revealing a tangled web of deception.

In addition to lying to voters — about his distinguished Wall Avenue history, Jewish heritage, tutorial and athletic achievements, animal rescue operate, actual estate holdings and much more — Santos is accused of carrying out quite a few fraud schemes intended to enrich himself and mislead his donors.

He was at first arrested in Could on a 13-rely federal indictment, which billed him with applying money earmarked for marketing campaign charges on designer clothes and other personal expenses and improperly obtaining unemployment positive aspects meant for Us citizens who shed do the job for the reason that of the pandemic.

Free on bail while awaiting trial, Santos has explained his litany of lies as victimless elaborations, when blaming some of his monetary irregularities on his previous treasurer, Nancy Marks, who he promises “went rogue.”

Very last 7 days, Marks, a longtime Long Island political bookkeeper and shut aide to Santos, pleaded responsible to a fraud conspiracy demand, telling a judge that she aided her former manager hoodwink future donors and Republican bash officials by submitting bogus campaign finance experiences.

Tuesday’s indictment stated Marks and Santos ended up associated in the very same plan to bogus a $500,000 marketing campaign loan in get to satisfy a benchmark that would unlock added aid from a Republican Party committee. Santos has now also been billed with recording fake donations from at minimum 10 men and women, all his or Marks’ kin, as element of the same work to make the marketing campaign seem like it hit people fundraising targets.

Santos was not originally charged in the legal criticism from Marks, but was determined in court papers as a “co-conspirator.”

The new indictment alleges a multi-portion fraud by Santos, who allegedly duped the two his donors and his family members members.

In a person occasion, Santos allegedly swiped the credit score card facts of just one of his contributors, who experienced already donated $5,800 to the marketing campaign, to give himself an extra $15,800 in payments, the indictment explained. Since the unauthorized costs exceeded contribution limits underneath federal legislation, Santos shown the more payments as coming from his own unwitting family, prosecutors allege.

Money thoughts have ongoing to swirl about Santos, who claimed to be rich but expended significantly of his adulthood bouncing involving small-paying work opportunities and unemployment, whilst fending off eviction circumstances and two separatecriminal charges relating to his use of lousy checks.

A independent fundraiser for Santos, Sam Miele, was also previously indicted on federal charges that he impersonated a superior-position congressional aide although soliciting contributions for the Republican’s marketing campaign.

Prosecutors explained Miele, 27, impersonated the previous main of staff to GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who at the time was the Residence minority leader, by environment up dummy email addresses that resembled the staffer’s identify.

Miele’s attorney, Kevin Marino, formerly predicted his shopper would be exonerated at demo.