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Fraud, Conspiracy, and Falsifying Records: New Indictments for Congressman George Santos

Fraud, Conspiracy, and Falsifying Records: New Indictments for Congressman George Santos

George Santos
Alex Wong/Getty Images

From conspiracy to credit card fraud, the layered legal quagmire around the lying congressman George Santos increases, as do calls for his resignation.


New York’s embattled Third District congressman, George Santos, finds himself in deeper legal waters as the Department of Justice unveiled a 23-count superseding indictment against him Tuesday afternoon.

A superseding indictment amends and replaces an original indictment. This is done through a grand jury, which will usually approve a superseding indictment after new details or information is found. Usually, the superseding indictment adds charges.

Santos was originally handed a 13-count indictment.

The development has triggered stern calls once again for his resignation. The indictment, spotlighting charges like conspiracy, wire fraud, and falsifying records to the Federal Election Commission, lays bare two alleged fraudulent schemes orchestrated during the 2022 election cycle, termed the “Party Program Scheme” and the “Credit Card Fraud Scheme.”

The “Party Program Scheme” highlights an alleged conspiracy between Santos, 35, and his campaign treasurer, Nancy Marks, 58, to misrepresent the campaign’s financial standing to the FEC.

Related: George Santos's Ex-Campaign Treasurer Implicates Congressman and Pleads Guilty to Criminal Charge

Last week, Marks pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the U.S. government, implicating the gay Republican in the process. She admitted to lying on finance reports about a fictitious $500,000 loan from Santos to his campaign, a maneuver to inflate the campaign’s fundraising success artificially. Marks disclosed providing the FEC with a fabricated list of donors, utilizing real names without the individuals’ consent for fictitious donations. This guilty plea by Marks, a once-trusted aide of Santos, adds a layer of complexity to the already intricate legal scenario surrounding Santos.

The scheme allegedly involved falsely reporting substantial contributions from family members and concocted loans from Santos to mislead the FEC, a national party committee, and the public about the campaign’s financial health.

The other alleged plan “Credit Card Fraud Scheme” puts Santos in the spotlight for allegedly stealing personal and financial information from campaign contributors between December 2021 and August 2022. Unauthorized charges on contributors’ credit cards were allegedly orchestrated to channel funds to his campaign, other candidates’ campaigns, and his personal bank account. The indictment alleges that Santos went to the extent of masking the true source of these contributions by falsely identifying the contributors.

United States Attorney Breon Peace emphasized the gravity of the indictment, stating, “As alleged, Santos 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.”

U.S. Rep. Robert Garcia of California, who has been vocal in his critique of Santos, aired his frustrations and called for Santos’s resignation on X, writing, “I’ve been calling for the expulsion of liar and fraud George Santos for 6 months. We filed an expulsion resolution and every Republican voted to keep him in office. Now, there’s a 23-count indictment and he’s about to vote for a new Speaker. He must resign immediately.”

The legal turmoil sets the stage for Santos’s upcoming court appearance on October 27.

Santos now grapples with the escalating allegations and a precarious political future.

The Advocate asked Santos’s spokesperson, Gabrielle Lipsky, for comment on Tuesday regarding the developments and whether the congressman had plans to resign.

“Official offices do not comment on these matters,” Lipsky responded Wednesday morning.

Editor’s note: This story was updated to include a response from Rep. Santos’s office.

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