Recently indicted Republican U.S. Rep. George Santos of New York allegedly hid his involvement in a now-defunct fundraising company he referred to other Republican politicians, according to The Daily Beast.
The company, Redstone Strategies LLC, was owned by Santos associate Jayson Benoit and provided fundraising services to politicians. Multiple Republicans told the outlet that Redstone delivered little in the way of fundraising for their campaigns and that Santos hid his involvement in the company.
Santos was arrested May 10 after a federal grand jury handed down a 13-count indictment against the gay Republican from New York’s Third Congressional District. The indictment included charges of money laundering, theft of public funds, and lying to Congress.
One of the unnamed companies, identified only as “Company 1” in court documents, has been tentatively by identified by the Beast and other media outlets as Redstone Strategies LLC in Florida, which lists Benoit as the sole owner. While Santos denied any involvement in the operation of the company to the Beast, his own Devolder Organization was listed along with Benoit as its manager in the company’s articles of organization filed with the state of Florida.
Republican Stefano Forte told the Beast Santos recommended Redstone Strategies to help fundraise for an ultimately unsuccessful bid for a seat in New York’s State Senate in 2022. He said Santos did not disclose his involvement in Redstone, and that the company did little for the $14,000 he paid to it before he ended their contract. Forte said he had harsh words for Santos regarding the entire affair.
For his part, Santos admitted he referred Forte and others to Redstone but claimed he did not profit in any way from the referrals. He also disputed Forte’s version of events, saying the fellow New Yorker is planning to run against him in the future.
“Who do you believe? Me or Anthony Devolder (a.k.a. George Santos a.k.a. world-famous Brazilian drag queen Kitara Ravache)—proud Jew and former Baruch volleyball star, Goldman Sachs executive, producer of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Hannah Montana guest star, and eccentric millionaire?” Forte scoffed when told of Santos’s denials.
Santos allegedly did not disclose his financial involvement in a different company when referring it to Tina Forte in her unsuccessful bid to unseat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in 2022. While Tina Forte, who is not related to Stefano, declined comment for the story, former staffer Jen Remauro told the Beast Santos recommended Red Strategies USA to Tina Forte without disclosing his involvement with the company. She said Santos encouraged Forte to challenge AOC and recommended Redstone Strategies to USA to help raise funds.
“‘He told me he was in Mar-a-Lago with a bunch of other politicians and my name was running around, and they all were talking about how I ought to run for Congress against AOC,” Remauro recalled Forte telling her of the events. “He said, ‘They all use this company Red Strategies and I don’t really know them, but I have their card.’”
Remauro said Santos even went so far as to pretend to not know the fellow founders at their introductory meeting with Forte. She also said Santos falsely claimed he became involved with the company in 2021, although company documents list him as a cofounder.