Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) was charged with 10 new criminal counts Tuesday over accusations he inflated his campaign finance reports and charged donors’ credit cards without authorization.
Santos pleaded not guilty in May to a 13-count indictment, and the new charges bring the total to 23.
The charges add new criminal exposure for the embattled lawmaker, who began his first term in January after admitting to embellishing parts of his background while campaigning. Santos is due to appear in court Oct. 27.
The additional indictment comes days after Santos’s former campaign treasurer, Nancy Marks, reached a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to conspiring with the then-candidate to carry out a scheme prosecutors are dubbing the “Party Program,” in which the duo committed fraud on Santos’s campaign finance reports.
The scheme was meant to ensure that Santos and his campaign qualified for a “national party committee” program that would provide financial and logistical support to Santos’s bid for Congress, prosecutors said. To qualify, the New York Republican had to show his campaign raised at least $250,000 from third-party contributors in a single quarter.
After failing to qualify for the program in October 2021, an agent of the national party committee told Santos that the “only driver that matters is raising $250K,” according to the indictment.
“We are going to do this a little different. I got it,” Santos allegedly replied, the charging document says.
To make that representation, Santos and Marks agreed to falsely report to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that at least 10 family members made significant contributions to the campaign, despite knowing they had not, according to prosecutors.
“The defendant George Anthony Devolder Santos and Marks knew that none of these reported contributions were true,” the indictment reads.
Santos also falsely reported to the national party committee and the FEC that he loaned his campaign $500,000 — an impossibility, since Santos had just $8,000 in his personal and business bank accounts, prosecutors claim.
The second alleged scheme involved Santos stealing the identities and financial information of contributors to his campaign and charging their credit cards repeatedly without authorization, prosecutors said.
“Through these unauthorized transactions, Devolder Santos transferred funds to the Committee, to the campaigns of other candidates for elected office and to his personal bank account,” the superseding indictment reads, asserting that Santos falsely represented that those contributions were made by other individuals, including his relatives and associates.
The new charges comprise one count of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States; two counts of wire fraud; two counts of making materially false statements to the FEC; two counts of falsifying records submitted to obstruct the FEC; two counts of aggravated identity theft; and one count of access device fraud.
The Hill has reached out to Santos for comment. Santos’s congressional office said it doesn’t comment on legal matters, and Santos’s lawyer declined to comment.
Breon Peace, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said Santos is accused of “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.”
“Santos falsely inflated the campaign’s reported receipts with non-existent loans and contributions that were either fabricated or stolen” Peace said. “This Office will relentlessly pursue criminal charges against anyone who uses the electoral process as an opportunity to defraud the public and our government institutions.”
In May, the embattled lawmaker pleaded not guilty to 13 federal charges connected to separate accusations that he misled campaign donors, fraudulently received unemployment benefits and lied on financial disclosures.
Since the original indictment, two of Santos’s former staffers have faced charges.
In August, Samuel Miele, Santos’s former fundraiser, pleaded not guilty to five charges over accusations he impersonated a top aide to a member of House leadership while soliciting contributions for Santos’s campaign.
Marks struck the plea deal with prosecutors earlier this month.
Mychael Schnell contributed.
Updated at 6:35 p.m. ET