Embattled Rep. George Santos has been indicted after allegedly using campaign donors' identities to rack up thousands in fraudulent credit card charges, Breitbart reported. Some of the funds were used to pad the New York Republican's campaign coffers, while others were sent to personal accounts.
In the indictment filed Tuesday, Santos is charged with running up charges of more than $44,000 in this scheme that he split between the campaign and his personal account. This replaces one filed in May that charged him with several offenses, including embezzlement and misrepresenting his wealth to Congress.
In May, a 13-count indictment outlined several alleged offenses, including using campaign funds for personal expenditures, including luxury clothing. He also allegedly collected benefits meant for people who lost wages because of the pandemic.
The lawmaker claimed that all of this was the fault of Nancy Marks, his former campaign treasurer because she "went rogue" with the spending. Marks pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges last week.
Meanwhile, Santos was out on bail when the latest 23-count indictment replaced the earlier one. Now it appears the pair were involved in a scheme to report a $500,000 loan Santos said came from his personal wealth.
The trouble was that he had just $8,000 in his account and never provided such a loan. He was apparently trying to entice Republican Party officials into investing in his campaign using his fake financial bona fides.
Santos now faces a myriad of charges that have come to light, including the previous ones. "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," a statement from U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said.
If convicted, Santos may be slapped with significant jail time. Of course, Santos denies the allegations as a "witch hunt" and refuses to resign.
When asked about the newest indictment by reporters following its release, Santos would not give comment. "I was in a conference like everyone else, without my phone, so I have nothing to say," Santos told the press.
He had been part of a two-hour Republican Party meeting at the Capitol at the time. This is only the latest hiccup for Santos after he has already been caught in several lies about his backstory.
Despite these embattlements, Santos is still running for reelection to represent his Queens and Long Island district even as the biographical facts he previously presented are turning out to be fiction. Santos said he was a wealthy businessman who made a fortune on Wall Street.
He has touted athletic and academic prowess as well as having a Jewish upbringing, all of which has proven false. The lawmaker has also been outed as a drag queen, though Santos denied it after photos emerged, CNN reported.
"The media continues to make outrageous claims about my life while I am working to deliver results. I will not be distracted nor fazed by this," he said at the time.
It's looking more like Santos is a troubled man with a checkered past. It remains to be seen whether he's also a criminal.