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HomeTop Global NewsRep. George Santos arraignment on new fraud, identity theft charges

Rep. George Santos arraignment on new fraud, identity theft charges

U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) returns to a House Republican caucus meeting at the Longworth House Office Building on October 13, 2023 in Washington, DC.

Win Mcnamee | Getty Images

Republican Rep. George Santos of New York is due in court Friday to enter a plea on criminal wire fraud and identity theft charges that prosecutors added to his federal theft and money laundering case earlier this month.

The 10 new felony counts accuse the embattled freshman lawmaker of submitting false campaign finance reports and charging his campaign donors’ credit cards without their permission.

Santos, 35, hinted he would plead not guilty to these charges in a post on X Thursday. “I’m entitled to due process and not a predetermined outcome as some are seeking,” he wrote.

Santos also repeated his promise not to resign from office, ignoring a bipartisan group of state and federal lawmakers who have been calling on him to step down since before he was sworn into Congress in January.

A lawyer for Santos declined CNBC’s request for comment ahead of the hearing, which is set to begin at 10:30 a.m. ET at U.S. District Court in Long Island.

Santos has admitted to lying about his employment and education history during his campaign, and has also since been linked to numerous other scandals. But he has denied criminal wrongdoing.

In May, federal prosecutors filed a 13-count indictment accusing Santos of defrauding supporters of his congressional campaign by soliciting contributions that he then used for his personal expenses, including designer clothes and credit card payments.

He was also charged with fraudulently obtaining more than $24,000 in unemployment benefits, and with reporting false income and asset data on congressional disclosure forms.

The new, superseding indictment filed Oct. 10 described two new criminal schemes.

“Santos is charged with stealing people’s identities and making charges on his own donors’ credit cards without their authorization, lying to the [Federal Election Commission] and, by extension, the public about the financial state of his campaign,” a U.S. attorney said in a press release announcing the new indictment.¬†

“Santos falsely inflated the campaign’s reported receipts with non-existent loans and contributions that were either fabricated or stolen,” the prosecutor added.

The superseding indictment followed the guilty plea of Santos’ former campaign treasurer, Nancy Marks. She pleaded guilty on Oct. 5 to conspiring with a congressional candidate to commit wire fraud, among other charges.

Marks is prominently featured in the latest charges against Santos.

In mid-May, Santos pleaded not guilty to the charges in his original indictment, the most serious of which carry 20-year maximum prison sentences.

In August, Samuel Miele, a former Santos fundraiser, was charged with impersonating a top aide to former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy during phone calls with potential donors.

Miele’s attorneys are in negotiations with federal prosecutors about a possible plea deal.

This is developing news. Please check back for updates.

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