(The Center Square) – U.S. Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., has been indicted in federal court on 23 counts of fraud, including money laundering and identity theft.
The charges were filed Tuesday in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The indictment alleges the freshman congressman committed two counts of wire fraud, several counts of making false statements and falsifying records with the Federal Election Commission, two counts of identity theft, seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds and two counts of making false statements in the U.S. House of Representatives.
U.S. Attorney Breon Peace, for the Eastern District of New York, strongly condemned the embattled congressman for using his position of power to defraud taxpayers and the government.
“This Office will relentlessly pursue criminal charges against anyone who uses the electoral process as an opportunity to defraud the public and our government institutions,” Peace lamented in a statement released by the U.S. Department of Justice.
In addition to allegedly defrauding taxpayers and the federal government, the criminal complaint states Santos stole the identities of family members and engaged in credit card fraud targeting campaign contributors, saying it was “to fraudulently inflate his campaign coffers.”
“As alleged, Santos is charged with stealing people’s identities and making charges on his own donors’ credit cards without their authorization, lying to the FEC and, by extension, the public about the financial state of his campaign,” said Peace.
In collaboration with the Eastern District Court of New York, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI assisted in the investigation. Santos is scheduled to return to the Central Islip court on Oct. 27.