Representative George Santos (R-NY-3) is expected to be expelled from Congress in the coming weeks, following a scathing 56-page report from the House Ethics Committee. Santos, who has now declined to run for office again, faces a laundry list of actions to answer for, ranging from campaign finance violations, wire fraud, and even sexual misconduct.
Santos also now faces 23 federal charges. In February, Santos pleaded not guilty to 13 of these from an original indictment, according to Fox 5 New York. In early October, Federal prosecutors saw fit to bring an additional ten charges against him in a superseding indictment due to the intensity of his alleged fraud scheme. If Santos were convicted on just the original 13 counts, he could face nearly two decades in federal prison.
The indictment came shortly after Santo’s campaign treasurer, Nancy Marks, pled guilty to a conspiracy to commit fraud charge. According to the Justice Department, Marks “conspired with a congressional candidate to defraud the FEC (Federal Election Commission).”
Santos is no stranger to controversy in Congress. From the beginning of his term in January until now, it is rare that a week has gone by without his name being attached to a bombshell of a scandal. Before he was even sworn into office, Santos was attacked for lying about his former educational and employment info. Santos claimed that he attended both Baruch College and New York University but later stated that he never graduated from an institution of higher education, according to ABC News. In May, Santos was finally able to settle his Brazilian fraud case, where he was charged with stealing shoes and a checkbook.
The finance and fraud charges against Santos are equally widespread.
According to the Ethics Committee report, Santos allegedly used his embezzled funds from donors on Botox treatments, luxury goods, and casino trips. Between his two congressional campaigns, Santos racked up over $4,000 at Hermes, roughly $3,000 for treatments labeled “Botox,” and $6,000 at Ferragamo. Interestingly enough, Santos even spent the money of his donors on OnlyFans, a subscription-based content website known for its sale of explicit pornographic material. Interestingly enough, Santos claimed no knowledge of the OnlyFans website even existing. It took a very broad scheme for this to have happened in the first place. Initially, tens of thousands of dollars went to RedStone, a supposed strategy firm set up for Santos’ campaign, according to the report. RedStone was created shortly after scrutiny was placed upon Red Strategies LLC, another strategy-based LLC that Santos was involved with. Santos’ personal LLC served as a manager of the RedStone LLC while it was active. Over the period that RedStone was active, the LLC transferred over $200,000 into Santos’ personal bank accounts.
Vienna Larsson, a senior Political Science major gave their thoughts on the issue: “Congressman Santos is a shining example of the ethical issues present within Congress right now. He should have resigned months ago rather than drag out his embarrassment of this Congress.”
As more and more facts come to the surface about Representative Santos’ misdealings, not only his constituents, but all Americans are left to wonder about the honesty of our representatives.