George Santos arrested for fraud and lying to Congress

Republican lawmaker Rep. George Santos has been indicted on federal charges of fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds, and lying to Congress. The 13-count indictment was unsealed on Wednesday, and Santos is facing seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds, and two counts of lying to the House of Representatives. The charges against Santos aim to hold the freshman lawmaker accountable for numerous alleged fraudulent schemes and brazen misrepresentations, according to Breon Peace, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Santos' indictment and arrest mark a significant escalation in the many legal and ethical probes he has faced since taking office. The charges include allegations that Santos transferred money from political donors into personal bank accounts during his campaign, using the funds for personal expenses, and committed unemployment insurance fraud by applying for benefits through the New York State Department of Labor in June 2020, even though he was employed. The Department of Justice also claims that Santos made efforts to mislead the U.S. House and the public about his financial condition in connection with his two congressional campaigns. Santos surrendered to authorities in Long Island on Wednesday morning and will be arraigned in the afternoon. Santos announced his reelection bid last month, despite facing an investigation from the House Ethics Committee on top of several state and federal investigations. Santos has repeatedly said he would not step down from Congress despite bipartisan calls for his resignation, though he did resign from his committee assignments in January. The embattled Republican lawmaker acknowledged embellishing his educational background and job history, but has denied most of the other allegations.


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