George Santos, the gay Republican who won a congressional seat last month, may have falsified claims about his employment history and more during the campaign, according to a New York Times investigation.
The Times looked into Santos's resume and found that several aspects of it could not be verified. In November, Santos defeated another gay man, Democrat Robert Zimmerman, in the race for an open seat in New York's Third Congressional District, which covers much of the north shore of Long Island. Santos is the first gay Republican to be elected to Congress while being out from the get-go; predecessors Steve Gunderson and Jim Kolbe came out while already in office.
Santos "built his candidacy on the notion that he was the 'full embodiment of the American dream'" as someone who had risen from a humble background as the son of Brazilian immigrants to achieve great financial success, the Times reports.
He claimed to have worked at two major Wall Street firms, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, but they had no record of his employment there, they told the Times. He also claimed to have graduated from Baruch College in 2010, but college officials could find no evidence of that. The Internal Revenue Service could find no registration for his charitable organization, Friends of Pets United.
He also said he runs an investment management company, the Devolder Organization, but there is little public information about it, and he has listed no clients. "And while Santos has described a family fortune in real estate, he has not disclosed, nor could the Times find, records of his properties," the paper reports.
He once asserted that he had four employees who died in the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando in 2016. "But a Times review of news coverage and obituaries found that none of the 49 victims appear to have worked at the various firms named in his biography," the article notes.
The Times further found that he was charged with stealing a checkbook from a man in Brazil in 2008 -- Santos's mother was a nurse, and the man was one of her patients -- and that the case has not been resolved. The politician later was twice evicted from apartments in Queens for nonpayment of rent.
Santos, who appeared recently at an event with anti-LGBTQ+ U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and white supremacists, declined to speak to the Times. His lawyer, Joe Murray, issued a statement saying it was "no surprise that Congressman-elect Santos has enemies at The New York Times who are attempting to smear his good name with these defamatory allegations."