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Tipsheet

A Freshman Republican Has Been Arrested by the FBI

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Republican Congressman George Santos was arrested by FBI agents Wednesday morning after turning himself in and indicted by a grand jury on more than a dozen federal charges. Santos says he was not aware of the indictment before it was handed down. 

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“This indictment seeks to hold Santos accountable for various alleged fraudulent schemes and brazen misrepresentations,” United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon Peace released in a statement. "Taken together, the allegations in the indictment charge Santos with relying on repeated dishonesty and deception to ascend to the halls of Congress and enrich himself.  He used political contributions to line his pockets, unlawfully applied for unemployment benefits that should have gone to New Yorkers who had lost their jobs due to the pandemic, and lied to the House of Representatives. My Office and our law enforcement partners will continue to aggressively root out corruption and self-dealing from our community’s public institutions and hold public officials accountable to the constituents who elected them."

The 20-page indictment details accusations Santos broke campaign finance laws, made false statements to Congress, filed false financial statements, theft of taxpayer money, engaging in unemployment fraud, wire fraud and much more. He faces 13 different federal charges and decades in prison if convicted. 

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“At the height of the pandemic in 2020, George Santos allegedly applied for and received unemployment benefits while he was employed and running for Congress,” District Attorney Anne Donnelly explained.  “As charged in the indictment, the defendant’s alleged behavior continued during his second run for Congress when he pocketed campaign contributions and used that money to pay down personal debts and buy designer clothing. This indictment is the result of a lengthy collaboration between law enforcement agencies, and I thank our partners at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their dedication to rooting out public corruption.” 

As reported, the FBI apparently had an informant inside Santos' congressional office who helped build the federal case against him. 

In addition to his legal problems, Santos has faced a credibility crisis after winning New York's 3rd Congressional District in November and being exposed for lying about his race, sexual orientation, religion and much more. He is the subject of a current House Ethics Committee investigation. 

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