Rep. George Santos Arrested on Embezzlement and Fraud Charges

New York Congressman George Santos was arrested today following the unsealing of a 13-count indictment, which includes charges of embezzling contributions from supporters, fraudulently obtaining unemployment benefits, and lying in disclosures to the House of Representatives. The indictment was returned yesterday under seal by a federal grand jury in Central Islip, New York. Santos surrendered and is set to be arraigned on Wednesday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlene R. Lindsay at the federal courthouse in Central Islip.

“This indictment seeks to hold Santos accountable for various alleged fraudulent schemes and brazen misrepresentations,” United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breaon Peace stated “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. He used political contributions to line his pockets, unlawfully applied for unemployment benefits that should have gone to New Yorkers who had lost their jobs due to the pandemic, and lied to the House of Representatives. 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.”

The Department of Justice (DOJ) revealed that the indictment charges Santos with engaging in an unemployment insurance fraud scheme. From June 2020 to April 2021, Santos allegedly falsely claimed to have been unemployed since March 2020, despite being employed and ineligible for benefits. As a result, he fraudulently received more than $24,000 in unemployment insurance benefits.

The DOJ also stated that Santos fraudulently solicited political contributions during his successful campaign for Congress in September 2022. Operating a limited liability company, Santos allegedly defrauded prospective political supporters by directing a political consultant to falsely tell donors their money would be used for campaign purposes, such as purchasing television advertisements. Two donors, each transferring $25,000, fell victim to this scheme. The indictment alleges that Santos then transferred the funds into his personal bank accounts and used the money for personal expenses, including designer clothing, cash withdrawals, discharging personal debts, and transferring money to associates.

Lastly, the indictment outlines Santos’s alleged attempts to mislead the House of Representatives and the public about his financial condition during his two Congressional campaigns.

Rep. Santos has yet to comment on the allegations.