(CNN) Entrater’s attorney confirmed to CNN on Thursday that private equity investor Andrew Entrater is one of the people federal prosecutors allege was paid by Attorney General George Santos to donate money as part of an alleged scheme related to alleged political contributions for Santos’ personal use.
In 13 indictments, Santos and an anonymous accomplice deceived two donors — described only as Contributor No. 1 and Contributor No. 2 — into offering $25,000 each to support the GOP nomination last year, prosecutors announced Wednesday.
Donors were told the money would go to an independent committee that could raise unlimited amounts to aid his campaign and would help fund television ads, according to the indictment. But the plaintiffs say the money instead went to a limited liability company controlled by Santos that paid the money for designer clothes, credit card bills and other personal expenses.
“From the outset, Andy Entrater was involved in the government’s investigation of George Santos and was identified as a victim in the indictment as Contributor No. 2,” Entrater’s attorney, Richard D. Owens, said in a statement. Andy is grateful that Santos will now have to answer in court for the many lies George has told Andy and many other Americans.
Santos pleaded not guilty Wednesday in New York and has vowed to fight the charges.
Federal Election Commission records show that Intrater has financially supported Santos’ political ambitions in recent years, donating more than $24,000 to Santos’ congressional campaigns and his federal leadership PAC since 2020.
He also invested more than $600,000 in a fund offered by Harbor City Capital, where Santos served as account manager, he told the New York Times earlier this year, in part because he admired Santos.
Intrater told the newspaper that he later discovered he had been misled.
The Security and Commerce Commission filed a lawsuit in April 2021 against Harbor City and its founder, Jonathan P. Maroney, alleging that the company was running a $17 million “Ponzi scheme”. Maroney has not been charged with a crime and Santos is not named in the SEC complaint.
Perhaps best known in US political circles as his cousin Viktor Vekselberg, Interrater is one of several Russian oligarchs and was designated by the US Treasury Department in 2018, for “global malign activity.”
The New York Times previously reported that Intrater was the No. 2 contributor to the indictment. CNN has not confirmed the identity of the other contributor described in the indictment.