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George Santos allegedly took $24,000 in COVID unemployment funds—while he had a job

Santos is accused of ‘various alleged fraudulent schemes and brazen misrepresentations.’

 

Mikael Thalen

Tech

Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) was taken into custody on Wednesday after the Department of Justice (DOJ) unsealed a 13-count indictment against him.

Santos, known best for fabricating numerous aspects of his life story, has been charged with seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds, and two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives.

Specifically, Santos is accused of not only receiving unemployment benefits while working at an investment firm but while running for Congress as well. The politician is also alleged to have lied about his personal finances on congressional disclosure forms.

In a statement on the arrest, Breon Peace, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said that the charges were intended to hold Santos accountable for “various alleged fraudulent schemes and brazen misrepresentations.”

“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,” Peace said. “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.”

Anne T. Donnelly, the District Attorney for Nassau County, also discussed accusations surrounding Santos’ use of campaign funds to “pay down personal debts and buy designer clothing.”

The freshman congressman is expected to appear in federal court later today in New York’s Eastern District.

Neither Santos, his attorneys, nor his staffers have publicly commented on the arrest so far.

As noted by CNN, Santos has been marred by controversy since being elected to Congress. The Republican politician is accused of “breaking campaign finance laws, violating federal conflict of interest laws, stealing cash meant for an Iraq War veteran’s dying dog, masterminding a credit card fraud scheme and lying about where he went to school and worked.”

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