(FILE) Republican Congressman George Santos of New York is escorted by police and trailed by members of the press as he exits a federal court house where he appeared before a judge following his indictment in Central Islip, New York, USA, 10 May 2023. EFE/EPA/JUSTIN LANE

NYC DA files 23 charges against Congressman George Santos

New York, October 10 (EFE) – The New York District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday charged Republican Congressman George Santos with 23 counts, including conspiring to commit crimes against the United States, making false statements to the Federal Electoral Commission (FEC) to obtain funds, and falsifying documents.

The list also includes aggravated identity theft, electronic fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds, and making false statements to the House of Representatives, according to the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn.

In May, Santos, famous for the web of falsehoods he concocted to get elected, was indicted on a total of 13 counts of alleged fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds and making false statements, to which he pleaded not guilty.

On Tuesday, prosecutors announced new charges, bringing the total to 23, including those from May.

According to the statement issued by the prosecutor’s office, Santos, from Central Islip, in New York’s Suffolk County (Long Island), for which he was elected in the November 2022 elections, must appear in court on October 27.

The 35-year-old congressman “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, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement.

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

Prosecutors alleged in the indictment that during the 2022 campaign, Santos and Nancy Marks, his committee treasurer, conspired to devise and execute a fraudulent scheme to raise money by filing false reports with the FEC.

Marks pleaded guilty on October 5.

The purpose of the scheme was to qualify for a fundraising program administered by the party’s national committee, which required them to show that they had raised at least $250,000 from third-party donors in a single quarter.

Santos and Marks agreed to tell the FEC that at least 10 of their relatives had made significant financial contributions to the campaign without the permission of those involved in the lie.

They also lied by informing the FEC that Santos had loaned the campaign substantial sums of money when, in fact, he had not made any loans and did not have the funds to do so.

He’s also alleged to have engaged in a credit card scheme in which the campaign repeatedly charged contributors’ credit cards in excess of the FEC’s individual contribution limits.

Prosecutors also claim that between December 2021 and August 2022, Santos devised and executed a fraudulent scheme to steal taxpayers’ identity and financial information, and that the funds were transferred to Santos’ campaign, the campaigns of other candidates, and his own bank account.EFE Rh/mcd