Home News US Rep. George Santos faces federal charges: Associated Press sources

US Rep. George Santos faces federal charges: Associated Press sources

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New York –

Two people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press that U.S. Rep. George Santos, who infuriated and mocked a series of insults about his heritage, upbringing and professional lineage, has been charged with federal criminal offenses.

The charges against Santos, filed in the Eastern District of New York, remain classified.

People were unable to discuss specific details of the case publicly until it was opened and spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The seal will be opened when Santos appears in court, which could be as early as Wednesday.

“This is new to me,” said Santos, who was contacted on Tuesday.

“You are the first to contact me about this,” he said in a short phone interview.

A spokesman for the US Attorney’s office declined to comment. The accusations were first reported by CNN.

The New York Republican has admitted he lied about his Jewish ancestry, background on Wall Street, college credentials and history as a star volleyball player. Serious questions have also arisen about his finances – including the source of what he has claimed to be a rapidly growing fortune despite recent financial troubles including evictions and thousands of dollars in rent.

Santos has resisted calls to resign and recently announced that he is running for re-election. He said his lies about his life story, including telling people he had jobs at several global financial firms and a lavish real estate portfolio, were adornments on his resume.

However, the pressure on him to quit was intense. Journalists and members of the public chased after him. He was mocked on social media and on late night television. Fellow New York Republicans called for his resignation, saying he had betrayed voters and his party with his lies.

Nassau County prosecutors and the New York attorney general’s office have previously said they are investigating potential violations of the law.

Besides questions about his life story, Santos’ campaign expenses have come under scrutiny due to unusual payments for travel, lodging, and other items.

The Nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission and urged organizers to investigate Santos. The center said the “mountain of lies” Santos promoted during the campaign about his life story and qualifications should prompt the commission to “thoroughly investigate what appear to be equally outright lies about how his campaign raised and spent money”.

In his filings with the Federal Election Commission, Santos first said he lent his campaign and related political action committees more than $750,000 — money he said came from the family business.

However, the wealth needed to make these loans seemed to arise out of nowhere. In a financial disclosure statement filed with the Clerk of the US House of Representatives in 2020, Santos said he had no assets and had an annual income of $55,000.

His company, Devolder Organization, wasn’t incorporated until the spring of 2021. However, this past September, Santos filed another financial disclosure form stating that this new company, incorporated in Florida, paid him a salary of $750,000 each of the past years. two years. , plus additional earnings of $1-5 million. In an interview, he described Santos Developer as a company that helps wealthy people buy things like yachts and planes.

Court records indicate that Santos faced three eviction proceedings in Queens between 2014 and 2017 over unpaid rent.

Some Republicans, including those in his district, have criticized Santos for dishonesty. The Nassau County Republican Committee, which endorsed his candidacy, said it would not support Santos’ re-election.

Santos lost his first congressional race in 2020, but ran again in 2022 to win a suburban district of Long Island and a small portion of Queens.

A local newspaper, the North Shore Leader, raised questions about Santos’ background before the election, but it was not until weeks after the election that the depth of his duplicity was revealed.

The New York Times reported that the companies Santos allegedly worked for, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, had no record of him as an employee. Baruch College, where Santos claims he earned a degree in finance and economics, said he was not a student.

Along with his autobiography, Santos has made up a life story that has also been called into question, including claims that his grandparents “fled Jewish persecution in Ukraine, settled in Belgium, and again fled persecution during World War II.”

During his campaign, he called himself a “proud American Jew”.

When asked about the story, Santos, who is Roman Catholic, said he never intended to claim Jewish heritage.

The Times also uncovered documents in Brazil showing that Santos, when he was 19, was the subject of a criminal investigation there in 2008 after allegations he used stolen checks to buy items at a clothing store in the city of Niteroi, near Rio de Janeiro. . Janeiro. Janeiro. Brazilian authorities said they had reopened the case.

Al-Amiri reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Michael R. Sisak in New York and Lindsey Whitehurst in Washington contributed to this report.

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