Team 12 Investigates takes a deep dive into Santos' indictment

Santos used the money for personal expenses “including making cash withdrawals, personal purchases of luxury designer clothing, credit card payments, a car payment, payments on personal debts, and one or more bank transfers to Devolder Santo’s personal associates,” according to the indictment.

Rachel Yonkunas

May 10, 2023, 9:42 PM

Updated 349 days ago

Share:

In a 13-count indictment, federal prosecutors said Rep. George Santos devised an elaborate scheme to defraud his supporters and line his pockets with campaign funds.
 
Santos is accused of persuading his supporters by emails, text messages and phone calls to give money to an LLC he controlled under the guise that the money will benefit his campaign. He allegedly told his contributors the money would be used to help elect him to the House of Representatives and would pay for television advertisements.
 
Instead, Santos allegedly transferred $50,000 dollars of campaign funds to his personal bank account, and in one instance, allegedly laundered half of the money through two of his personal accounts.
 
Santos used the money for personal expenses “including making cash withdrawals, personal purchases of luxury designer clothing, credit card payments, a car payment, payments on personal debts, and one or more bank transfers to Devolder Santos’s personal associates,” according to the indictment.
 
Santos is also accused of unemployment fraud. Between June 2020 and April 2021, prosecutors said Santos applied for and received nearly $25,000 in unemployment benefits through the CARES Act. During that same period, Santos was allegedly working as a regional director for a Florida-based investment firm that paid him $120,000 a year.
 
The GOP congressman was surrounded by reporters as he left a federal courthouse in Central Islip on Wednesday. He maintains his innocence and says he will not resign.
 
“I’ve been complying throughout this entire process. I have no desire not to comply,” Rep. Santos said. “They’ve been gracious in there. Now I’m going to have to go and fight to defend myself.”
 
The congressman’s financial disclosure forms are also being challenged by federal prosecutors.
 
His financials have been under scrutiny for months. Questions ran rampant about the source of high-dollar loans that Rep. Santos reportedly made to his campaign last year.
 
In connection with his 2022 election for the House, Santos claimed he earned a $750,000 salary from the Devolder Organization and reported between $1 million and $5 million in dividends from the firm. The charges allege Santos never received that money and lied about his multi-million dollar assets.


More from News 12