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File image of George Santos Alamy Stock Photo
US Congress

Scandal-hit New York congressman George Santos hit with ten additional charges

Santos has already admitted fabricating much of his biography, including his real name, his religion.

A SCANDAL-PLAGUED Republican congressman whose extensive lies have made headlines since his election last year was hit with additional charges by federal prosecutors yesterday.

George Santos, 35, pleaded not guilty in May to seven counts of wire fraud, three of money laundering, one of theft of public funds and two of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives.

Prosecutors charged Santos with an additional 10 counts yesterday, including identity theft and making false statements to the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

“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,” Breon Peace, US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said.

“Santos falsely inflated the campaign’s reported receipts with non-existent loans and contributions that were either fabricated or stolen,” Peace said in a statement.

Santos is to appear in court on 27 October to answer the charges.

Santos has already admitted fabricating much of his biography, including his real name, his religion – he falsely claimed to be Jewish – his schooling and his employment history when he ran last year for a House seat representing parts of Long Island, New York.

According to the initial indictment, Santos defrauded donors during his successful November 2022 election, transferring money into his own account and using it to pay off personal debts and buy designer clothing.

Santos is also accused of collecting unemployment benefits that he was not entitled to during the coronavirus pandemic, before his election to Congress.

Prosecutors say he pocketed $24,000 in benefits while earning $120,000 a year at a Florida-based investment firm.

Santos has faced calls to resign from constituents, some fellow Republicans as well as Democrats in Congress, but has thus far refused.

© AFP 2023 

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