OAN Roy Francis
8:26 AM – Wednesday, May 10, 2023
George Santos was taken into federal custody after the Justice Department unsealed federal charges against him ahead of his court appearance on Wednesday.
The 13-count indictment included seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds, and two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives.
The indictment alleges that in 2020, Santos applied for and received unemployment benefits from the New York State Department of Labor, even though he was earning a salary of $120,000 per year. In total, he had received more than $24,000 in unemployment benefits.
Other allegations in the indictment include that he had pocketed thousands of dollars in campaign contributions which he used to pay off personal debts as well as to buy designer clothes.
He is also accused of providing false information on House financial disclosures about his income and dividends earned from Devolder Organization LLC, and unemployment benefits.
Santos was taken into custody in Melville, on Long Island, which is where the FBI is located. He was then take to the courthouse in Central Islip. Santos is expected to be arraigned later on Wednesday.
“This indictment seeks to hold Santos accountable for various alleged fraudulent schemes and brazen misrepresentations,” United States Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement. “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… My Office and our law enforcement partners will continue to aggressively root out corruption and self-dealing from our community’s public institutions and hold public officials accountable to the constituents who elected them.”
Santos had won his campaign for New York’s Third Congressional District in 2022 and was sworn in on January 7th, 2023. Days before he was sworn in, the New York Times had reported that Santos allegedly lied on his resume, and that he lied about being of Jewish descent.
The Nassau County GOP had then demanded that Santos resign due to the false claims about his Jewish ancestry, but he had refused.
At the time, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), said that Santos would be removed depending on the findings of the House Ethics probe.
Santos is scheduled to appear in court for his arraignment at 1:00 p.m. ET.
This is a developing story.
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