Current Position: US Representative of NY 3rd District since 2021
Affiliation: Republican
Former Position:  Business person

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George Santos is the son of immigrants, who was born and raised in Jackson Heights, Queens. Both his mother and father are immigrants to the United States from Brazil. They came to the US in search of the American dream. Today George lives that dream based on the foundations of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

George’s drive, commitment and determination were inspired by the legacy set by his parents. Through hard work, tenacity and  determination they both delivered a very different life to George and his sister, allowing them the opportunity to fight for their dreams.

OnAir Post: George Santos NY-03


Source: Government page

As the son of immigrants, George understands the strength that comes with NY03’s diversity. As the first non incumbent openly-gay Republican elected to Congress, he knows how important it is for every community to have a voice. He will be a voice for every community in the district.

George perused a long path to success, starting in import & export sales, customer service, corporate Hospitality to building an extensive capital markets career covering real estate, bio-tech, M&A, capital introduction for Private Equity firms and managing General Partner and Limited Partner relations. He has experience delivering results in the business world and now he will take that same drive to Washington to deliver results for New York’s Third Congressional District.

As a Member of the Congressional class whose victories will change the direction of the House of Representatives, George is determined to deliver real results for his constituents.

For far too long politicians have been elected only to let down their constituents by caving to political pressures. George is committed to standing strong and fighting every single day to improve the quality of life for everyone in New York’s Third Congressional District and beyond.

New York’s 3rd congressional district

New York’s 3rd congressional district is a congressional district for the United States House of Representatives in the State of New York. It is represented by Republican George Santos, who was elected to represent the district in 2022. It was one of 18 districts that voted for Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election while being won or held by a Republican in 2022.

NY-03 is the wealthiest congressional district in New York, and in 2022, was the fourth-wealthiest nationally

Source: Wikipedia


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George Anthony Devolder Santos (born July 22, 1988) is an American politician who served as the U.S. representative for New York’s 3rd congressional district from January to December 2023, before he was expelled from Congress.

Santos ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in New York’s 3rd congressional district in 2020, but was defeated by incumbent Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi. Suozzi opted against seeking re-election in 2022, and Santos ran for Congress again. That time, Santos prevailed, defeating Democrat Robert Zimmerman. Santos, who is gay, is the first Republican to be openly LGBT before being elected to Congress.

Within six weeks of Santos’s election, news outlets began reporting that much of his biography appeared to be fabricated. Santos admitted to having lied about his education and employment history, while his disclosures about his business activities, income, and personal wealth were inconsistent with one another. Further, Santos had not disclosed his criminal history or the existence of lawsuits against him. Santos was sworn in as a member of the House in January 2023, but faced ongoing media scrutiny as well as demands for his resignation from members of both parties.

On December 1, 2023, following an investigation by the House Ethics Committee and the filing of federal criminal charges, the House of Representatives voted 311–114 to expel Santos. He pleaded not guilty to the 23 fraud-related charges against him. Santos is the first member of the House to be expelled without having been convicted of a crime or having fought for the Confederacy. He is also the sixth member of the House to be expelled and the first Republican.

Early life, family, and education

George Anthony Devolder Santos[a] was born on July 22, 1988,[5][b] to Fátima Aziza Caruso Horta Devolder and Gercino Antônio dos Santos Jr. (known as Junior), both of whom were born in Brazil;[7] he has a younger sister, Tiffany.[8]

His maternal grandparents, Paulo Horta Devolder and Rosalina Caruso Horta Devolder, were also born in Brazil. Three of his four maternal great-grandparents were also born in Brazil, with the other born in Belgium.[7] Fátima Devolder immigrated to Florida as a migrant worker to pick beans in 1985. She later moved to New York City and was a housekeeper, cook, and nanny.[9][10][c] Gercino Santos was a house painter.[12] Santos has claimed dual citizenship in the U.S. and Brazil.[13][d] In 2013, a Brazilian court described him as American.[15]

Santos has said his family was poor during his childhood, living in a rat-infested basement apartment in Jackson Heights, Queens, near a Brazilian immigrant enclave in Astoria. Relatives and friends recall that his parents and an aunt often bought him dolls, toys, and clothes despite their lack of money.[16] His parents’ marriage appears to have ended by 1998, when records in Gercino’s native state of Minas Gerais show that he remarried there. Santos remained close to his mother (living with her intermittently until her death) and maintained infrequent contact with his father.[17] According to a biographer, Santos developed a reputation within his family for deceit and theft during his childhood.[e]

Santos holds a GED (Certificate of High School Equivalency).[22] He attended Intermediate School 125 (also known as I.S. 125 Thomas J. McCann Woodside Intermediate School) in Woodside, Queens, and Primary School 122 (also known as P.S.122 The Mamie Fay School) in Astoria.[23][24]

In Brazil

George moved to Niterói in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro Metropolitan Area, where Fátima was then living, around 2008 and lived there until 2011,[13][25] although acquaintances of Santos from that period are unsure whether he lived in Brazil or merely visited. Many knew him as Anthony Devolder. Fátima lived in difficult circumstances, working odd jobs, moving around frequently due to unpaid rent, and obtaining electricity illegally. Santos told people his family had money because his father was a high-paid executive in New York.[26]

A friend from that time says Santos was very involved in local LGBT activism, handing out leaflets and regularly attending meetings of a local activist group and Pride parades.[26][f] Two former acquaintances said that he competed as a drag queen in Brazilian beauty pageants in 2008 using the drag name Kitara Ravache,[g][28][29] with one saying that Santos began dressing in drag in 2005. Manoel Antiqueira, who performs in drag as Eula Rochard, recalls Santos returning from a 2007 trip to the U.S. with expensive materials for a dress that were not available in Brazil at the time.[26][h]
Santos denied having been a drag queen, calling the allegations “categorically false” and accusing the media of making “outrageous claims about my life”;[35] two days later, he said, “No, I was not a drag queen in Brazil, guys. I was young and I had fun at a festival.”[36]

While in Brazil, Santos’s politics were shaped by his family’s generally strong support for right-wing politician Jair Bolsonaro, who later became Brazil’s President. Santos supported Bolsonaro despite his open homophobia. The Santoses frequently disparaged Brazil’s then-president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, on social media. After winning his House election, Santos posted a picture of himself with Bolsonaro’s equally conservative ally Carla Zambelli.[37]

Early career

From October 2011 to July 2012, Santos worked as a customer service representative at a call center for Dish Network in College Point, Queens.[38] Hired for his second-language skills, he handled calls from Portuguese-speaking customers.[39]

The New York Times verified that sometime after 2013, Santos worked for HotelsPro, a subsidiary of Turkey-headquartered MetGlobal.[40] In early 2016, Santos moved to Orlando, Florida, where HotelsPro was opening an office. He registered to vote and changed his driver’s license to his Florida residence.[41]

Santos has worked for LinkBridge Investors, a company that states that it “connects investors with fund managers”.[40] His 2019 campaign disclosure form and a company document list him as a vice president,[22] but that same year, the company president testified in a lawsuit that Santos was a freelancer who worked on commission.[42] A press release for the company referred to him as its New York regional director.[43]

Harbor City Capital

In January 2020, shortly after launching his first campaign for Congress in November 2019,[22][44] Santos began working for Harbor City Capital, a Florida-based alternative investment firm. The SEC later filed a civil suit accusing the company of running a $17 million Ponzi scheme.[45] In June 2020, during his first run for Congress, Santos (under the name George Devolder) opened an office for Harbor City Capital in Manhattan[46] and became the firm’s New York regional director.[i][48] He was not named in the lawsuit, and he has denied knowledge of the fraud.[22] In 2020, Santos claimed to be managing $1.5 billion in funds for Harbor City, with a fixed yield of 12 percent and an internal rate of return of 26 percent.[45] An investor said Santos called him after the SEC suit was filed, crying that he had lost a million dollars of his own money as a result.[49] Harbor City paid Santos at least through April 2021,[50] but Andrew Intrater, a New York financier, said Santos told him he had been let go before that due to conflicts with his political activities.[51]

Devolder Organization

Around the time he is reported to have left Harbor City Capital, Santos founded a limited liability company (LLC) called the Devolder Organization, and his reported personal income rose substantially.[j] The company had no public presence when major media investigations commenced, and Santos has given inconsistent explanations of its business.[52]

According to his financial disclosures, Santos was the sole owner and managing member,[k] managing $80 million in assets.[22] On financial disclosure forms, Santos called the Organization a “capital introduction consulting” firm.[22] Although based in New York, the company was registered in Florida, where it was dissolved in September 2022 for failing to file annual reports. Santos said that its accountant had missed the annual filing deadline.[53] In 2022, the Organization lent Santos’s congressional campaign more than $700,000. Santos reported receiving a salary of $750,000 and dividends of $1–$5 million from the company, even though he also claimed that its estimated value was in the same range.[22]

Despite his claims about the Organization’s size, Santos’s financial disclosure forms listed no clients.[22] In July 2022, Dun & Bradstreet estimated Devolder’s revenue at less than $50,000.[54] Santos listed himself as the registered agent for the LLC and listed Florida as his state of residence. The company’s mailing address was a Merritt Island apartment[55] owned by Harbor City’s chief technology officer.[47]

The House Ethics Committee’s investigation found that Santos incorporated the LLC in May 2021, although he reported income from it on his 2020 income tax return.[56] The committee found that when Santos applied for a business account in May 2021, he told the bank that the Organization made $800,000 in net profit every year and grossed $1.5M; his May 2022 campaign financial disclosure said that the company’s assets were in the $1M to $1.5M range. The Organization’s 2021 financial statements showed $614 of income and over $14,000 of expenses, amounting to a loss exceeding $13,000, and at the time Santos filed the 2022 disclosure, there was $4 in the company bank account.[l] The Committee said that both Santos’ personal and business accounts were used for a series of “significant” cash deposits followed by prompt cash withdrawals of similar amounts, and the source of the cash was unclear.[58] The unexplained cash withdrawals amounted to over $240,000.[57]

Early political activities

Santos was president of United for Trump, a small New York-based group supporting Donald Trump‘s 2020 re-election campaign. In July 2019, the group staged a counterprotest to an anti-Trump rally in Buffalo, New York, which led to shouting and a fistfight.[59][60]

U.S. House of Representatives


2020 campaign

Santos ran as a Republican for the United States House of Representatives in New York’s 3rd congressional district, against Democratic incumbent Tom Suozzi, launching his campaign in November 2019.[22] Normally, the Nassau County Republican Committee, known for the tight control that its leadership exercises over often competitive races for its nominations, would have discouraged an unknown candidate with such minimal experience. However, Suozzi was expected to win the race easily, and no other candidates put their names forward.[61] Santos raised funds, spoke to donor groups, and attended a phone-banking session at Mar-a-Lago with Donald Trump’s children; his efforts impressed party officials. He bought entire tables at New York Young Republican events. Other candidates making the same rounds noticed that Santos repeatedly exaggerated his fundraising totals, with a wide contrast between what he said and what he reported in his campaign finance disclosure forms.[62]

Suozzi later recalled that he had no doubt he would defeat Santos, an unknown who was not well-funded and who at the time was registered to vote in an area of Queens that was outside the district.[62][63] When reporters pressed him about living outside the district, Santos claimed an address that turned out to be his campaign treasurer’s.[62] Because Santos was so little-known in the district, the Suozzi campaign decided not to pay for opposition research, deciding that it would be counterproductive to increase his name recognition.[61] As expected, Suozzi prevailed; he defeated Santos 56.0%-43.5% (a margin of about 46,000 votes).[64] Despite Santos’s loss, local Republicans were pleasantly surprised by his performance.[65]

Refusal to accept election results

Santos refused to accept his 2020 defeat and falsely claimed that the vote totals had been manipulated. He began raising money and hiring additional staff for a recount, insisting that half the Democratic ballots should have been discarded. Santos also refused to leave the orientation session for new members of Congress even after his opponent’s victory was certified.[62]

Santos spoke at a “Stop the Steal” rally the day before the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, telling the crowd that the election he lost by 13 percentage points in 2020 was stolen from him.[62] On January 6, he attended Trump’s Save America rally at the Ellipse in Washington, D.C. He later said that Trump “was energized”, gave “a great speech”, and was “at his full awesomeness” that day. After the speech, a mob of Trump supporters attacked the Capitol, disrupting the counting of the electoral votes that formalized Trump’s loss in the 2020 United States presidential election.[66] Santos later said he was “never on Capitol grounds” on January 6, called it a “sad and dark day”, and acknowledged that Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election.[66][67]

2022 campaign

Shortly after his loss to Suozzi, Santos formed GADS PAC, a Leadership PAC, and began raising money to run for Congress again.[68] Then-New York state Republican chair Nick Langworthy said that “George never stopped being a candidate” and “was spending time at Mar-a-Lago, raising money in different circles”.[65] U.S. Representative Elise Stefanik was an early Santos supporter.[61] She endorsed him in August 2021, and nine months later tweeted that she helped him raise over $100,000 at a lunch fundraiser.[69]

Some Republicans began to have reservations about Santos. In mid-2021, one of his former advisors found out about his connections to Harbor City and some of its business practices; he was unsuccessful in getting a newspaper to cover it. After learning that Santos falsely claimed to have been endorsed by Trump, a major New York Republican donor who could not verify his claimed work history shared her suspicions with friends close to Stefanik. Saying they were “tired of being duped”, the group asked Santos for his résumé; he refused, telling them the request was “invasive”.[61]

With Santos’s permission, his campaign commissioned a vulnerability study on him late in the year. Some of his campaign staff were so taken aback by what the hundred-page study found[70] that they advised him to drop out of the race. He refused, disputing some of the study’s findings and saying he would show them his diplomas. Santos never provided the diplomas, and members of his campaign staff resigned.[61] Those who remained grew so concerned about Santos’s propensity for falsehood that they asked him to seek professional help.[71]

According to unnamed sources, Dan Conston, an ally of Kevin McCarthy and leader of the Congressional Leadership Fund, told congressional leaders and donors about concerns that Santos might be revealed as a fraud.[61] Through Stefanik, Santos was able to hire new staffers. He required departed staffers to sign nondisclosure agreements.[61]

Republican officials had privately discussed the dubiousness of Santos’s claimed past employment and personal wealth, but assumed he would have been vetted in 2020. Some Republicans tried to recruit state senator Jack Martins to challenge Suozzi.[61] After another candidate talked about running, Santos and his PACs donated $185,000 to the county Republican committee, which soon endorsed him.[62] Republicans assumed that Santos would be running against Suozzi again, and Nassau County Republicans thus concentrated their efforts on state and local offices.[61]

Suozzi announced in November 2021 that he would not seek reelection to Congress and would instead would run for governor of New York. Suozzi’s move improved Republicans’ chances of winning the seat.[72] Unopposed for the Republican nomination, Santos ran for the open seat against Democratic nominee Robert Zimmerman.[73][74][75] The Zimmerman campaign had access to a lengthy Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) opposition research file on Santos that unearthed information on some of his falsehoods. Since further research would have cost thousands of dollars, Zimmerman decided that his campaign would instead focus its spending on voter outreach and advertising.[61]

In September 2022, The North Shore Leader raised questions about Santos’s employment at Harbor City, his personal financial disclosure forms, and his claims of personal wealth.[76][77] In an October editorial, the paper endorsed Zimmerman, saying that Santos was “bizarre, unprincipled and sketchy” and “most likely just a fabulist—a fake”.[76][78][79] No other media outlet reported on the matter until after the election.[76][80][81][82]

Late in the campaign, both parties realized the elections on Long Island would be close and could decide control of the House. A Democratic political action committee spent $3 million in the 3rd district race to support Zimmerman. On the Republican side, the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF) spent nothing in support of Santos, but committed $1.5 million to the neighboring 2nd and 4th district races.[83] Sources told the Times that the CLF’s leadership had been made aware of the problems with Santos.[61]

Santos defeated Zimmerman in the November 2022 election by an 8% margin,[84] flipping the district and helping Republicans retake control of the House by a narrow margin. His election made him the first LGBT non-incumbent Republican elected to federal office.[22]

In the weeks following Santos’s victory, numerous news outlets reported that much of his biography—including claims about his ancestry, education, employment history, charity work, financial status, property ownership, ethnicity, and religion, as well as crimes of which he claimed to be a victim—appeared to have been fabricated. Santos admitted to lying about his education and employment history,[85] while his disclosures about his business activities, income, and personal wealth were inconsistent with one another.[52][85]

2024 campaign

The Santos campaign announced in April 2023 that he would seek reelection in 2024.[86] The state’s Conservative and Republican Party chairs said they would not support Santos.[87]

Following the failure of an October 2023 vote to expel him from the House, Santos said he would run again in 2024 even if he was expelled from the House before the election.[88] In November 2023, after the House Ethics Committee’s report made further fraud allegations against Santos, he reversed course and announced that he would not seek re-election.[89]

During the 2024 State of the Union Address in March, Santos announced that he would run for the House in New York’s 1st congressional district, challenging incumbent Republican Nick LaLota,[90] who had long advocated for Santos’s expulsion or resignation. Santos called LaLota a RINO. “[T]o hold a pathological liar who stole an election accountable,” LaLota responded, “I led the charge to expel George Santos. If finishing the job requires beating him in a primary, count me in.”[91]

On March 22, 2024, Santos announced his departure from the Republican Party, stating that he, “in good conscience, cannot affiliate myself with a party that stands for nothing and falls for everything.” He intended to continue his congressional campaign as an independent.[92] On April 23, 2024, Santos dropped out of the race.[93]


George Santos’s constituent office in Douglaston, during his tenure

On January 11, only eight days after the start of his tenure, four Republican New York congressmen who had also been elected in 2022—Anthony D’Esposito, Nick LaLota, Nick Langworthy, and Brandon Williams—called for Santos to resign.[94] The other two freshman Republican members of Congress from New York, Marc Molinaro and Mike Lawler, followed suit.[95] Joseph Cairo, the chair of the Nassau County Republican Party, also called for Santos to resign, saying that he had “disgraced the House of Representatives, and we do not consider him one of our congresspeople”.[94]

Santos refused to resign,[96] and kept the support of Republican House leadership, including former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, House majority leader Steve Scalise, and Representative Elise Stefanik (the fourth-highest-ranking House Republican), who relied in part on Santos’s vote to support their very narrow (four-seat) House majority.[97][98] McCarthy did not deny Santos committee assignments or impose any penalty on him for the misrepresentations he made during his campaign.[98] Santos was assigned to the committees on small business and science, space, and technology. On January 31, he announced at a meeting of House Republicans that he was vacating his committee memberships, but said the move was temporary.[99]

In February 2023, Santos co-sponsored a bill to designate the “AR-15–style rifle” the National Gun of the United States.[100][101]

In 2023, Santos voted in favor of the key bills supported by the House Republican leadership.[97] After his indictment in May, House Republican leadership reiterated that they would not seek to force Santos to resign or expel him from the House.[97] A subsequent attempt by Democrats to force a vote on an expulsion resolution was blocked and referred to the Committee on Ethics.[102]

Later in 2023, House Democrats announced they would introduce a resolution to censure Santos. Unlike an expulsion, the measure would need only a simple majority to pass. Democrats said that Republicans, who had informally criticized Santos, should have no problem with a censure vote.[103] Five New York Republicans who had already called on Santos to resign—LaLota, Molinaro, D’Esposito, Langworthy and Lawler—said they would vote for censure, as did Ohio Republican Max Miller.[104]

Roll Call reported in July 2023 that Santos’s office lagged behind those of members from neighboring districts in handling constituent service requests.[105]

Santos was among the 71 Republicans who voted against final passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 in the House.[106]

In October, Santos voted to keep McCarthy as Speaker when eight Republicans joined with House Democrats to remove him. He refused to support Steve Scalise as McCarthy’s replacement, since the Louisiana congressman had not personally sought Santos’s support.[107]

Committee assignments

Santos withdrew from his committee assignments on January 31, 2023 (two weeks after the assignments were announced). The withdrawal was announced as “temporary”, but was never reversed.[99]

Expulsion resolutions

Distribtuion of votes on the 3rd and ultimately successful attempt to expel George Santos from Congress:
     Democratic yes      Democratic no
     Republican yes      Republican no
     Democratic not voting      Republican not voting
     Democrat present

In May 2023, after Santos was indicted on federal charges, Robert Garcia and other House Democrats introduced a resolution to expel Santos from the House, which requires a two-thirds vote, or 290 votes, in favor. Because an expulsion motion is privileged, the Republican House leadership was required to either schedule a vote within two legislative days, table the proposal or refer it to the Ethics Committee. They introduced a motion to send the resolution to the Ethics Committee.[110][102] The House approved the motion by 221–204 along party lines; seven Democrats voted “present”.[102] After Santos was indicted on additional charges in October, D’Esposito introduced a second expulsion resolution, cosponsored by the other five Republican House freshmen from New York.[111] After Rep. Mike Johnson was elected Speaker, the sponsors moved to force a floor vote on the resolution.[112]

On November 1, the expulsion motion failed 213–179, with 19 voting present. Support was mostly from Democrats, joined by 24 Republicans, while 31 Democrats joined Republicans in opposing. California Rep. Katie Porter, one of those 31, believed that it was wrong to expel Santos before his case had been disposed in the courts or the House Ethics Commission had issued its report. Santos said the result was a victory for due process and dismissed the resolution as a political stunt by his colleagues anxious about their re-election prospects in 2024.[113]

In the wake of the Ethics Committee’s report on Santos two weeks later, Garcia announced he would introduce another expulsion resolution, with the expectation that it would be voted on after the Thanksgiving recess. It was seen as possible that some of the representatives who had voted against expelling Santos previously would reconsider their positions in the wake of the report. One, Maryland Democrat Jamie Raskin, said he would vote to expel, as “[t]he report’s findings are extremely damning”.[89]

Rep. Michael Guest, chair of the Ethics Committee, introduced an expulsion resolution of his own after the report was released.[114] Over the holiday recess, Santos said on an X Space that he expected to be expelled the following week when Congress returned.[115] He said he would “wear it like a badge of honor”, called Guest a “pussy” and said that no one from Mississippi was going to push a New Yorker out of Congress. Santos said it was hypocritical of the House to expel him.[116]

On December 1, the House voted to pass Guest’s resolution to expel Santos, 311–114.[117] Specifically, 206 Democrats and 105 Republicans voted for the resolution, with two Democrats[m] and 112 Republicans voting against his expulsion. Ten Representatives did not vote, with two voting present and the rest absent.[118] He is the sixth member of the House to be expelled, the only Republican, and the only member expelled without first being convicted of a federal crime or having supported the Confederacy.[119][120][121]

After Suozzi won the February 2024 special election to fill Santos’s seat, leaving the House Republicans with an even narrower majority, Santos lashed out at his former Republican colleagues who had voted to expel him in a group text. “I hope you guys are happy with this dismal performance and the 10 million dollars your futile Bull Shit cost the party,” Santos wrote. “I look very much forward to seeing most of you lose due to your absolute hate filled campaign to remove me from Congress arbitrarily.”[122]

Political positions

Politically, Santos has aligned himself with former president Donald Trump.[22] At a March 2019 event held by the conservative #WalkAway Foundation that encouraged members of the LGBTQ community to leave the Democratic Party, Santos (introducing himself as Anthony Devolder) claimed to have formed a group called United for Trump and asked Blaire White, a transgender YouTuber, how she could “help educate other trans people from not having to follow the narrative that the media and the Democrats put forward”.[123] In 2023, Santos attended a rally of supporters outside the Manhattan courthouse where Trump was arraigned on felony charges of falsifying business records.[124]

Santos has called police brutality a “made-up concept”.[22] In a 2022 speech to the Whitestone Republican Club in Whitestone, Queens, Santos called abortion “barbaric” and compared it to slavery.[125]

After the October 7, 2023 Hamas attack on Israel, Santos said, “I think every inch of the United States at this point should be mapped out again and completely checked. I don’t care if we go into a police state for a couple of months.”[126]

False biographical statements

On December 19, 2022, after Santos had been elected to Congress but before he had taken office, The New York Times reported that he had lied about many aspects of his biography.[22] His lawyer denied the allegations.[22][127][128] On December 22, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that an investigation had been opened into Santos.[129]

On December 26, Santos broke his silence with interviews on WABC[130][131] and with The New York Post.[132][133] He denied being a criminal, saying, “I’m not a fraud. I’m not a criminal who defrauded the entire country and made up this fictional character and ran for Congress”.[134] Santos admitted to the Post that he had lied about graduating from college and working for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. By December 28, federal prosecutors for the Eastern District of New York were investigating Santos’s finances, and the Nassau County district attorney was investigating him.[135]


Santos was raised as a Catholic and has identified himself as a Catholic. At various points in his career, however, he has claimed to be “Jewish”; “Jew-ish“; “half Jewish”; a non-observant Jew; “a proud American Jew“; and a “Latino Jew“.[136]

In a January 2020 appearance on Talking GOP, a cable TV show he co-hosted, Santos claimed his maternal grandfather grew up Jewish, converted to Catholicism before the Holocaust, and raised his children Catholic. While Santos said that he was Catholic and that he was not “trying to claim Jewish heritage”, he added, “I believe we are all Jewish, at the end – because Jesus Christ is Jewish. And if you believe in Jesus, and we’re all brothers in Christ, I mean”. The video resurfaced in early 2023.[137] More specifically, Santos has claimed that his maternal grandparents were Jewish Holocaust refugees who fled Soviet Ukraine and German-occupied Belgium.[138]

On an October 2020 radio show, Santos claimed that Democratic former congressman Steve Israel offered him his support during an event hosted by the Council for a Secure America, a bipartisan group co-chaired by Israel. Santos claimed that Israel told him: “You’re going to be the first Republican I am voting for in my life.” Israel denied saying anything of the kind, and Santos did not appear on the event’s guest list.[139][136] Santos did not otherwise make much mention of his purported Jewish ancestry during his 2020 run, but referred to it frequently in 2022 when all the candidates seeking the Democratic nomination to replace Suozzi were Jewish.[62]

At a meeting at the U.S.-Israel PAC a month before his 2022 election, Santos courted pro-Israel activists by falsely claiming to be “halakhically Jewish“, according to attendees.[136] A co-chair of the organization said this served to give the impression that Santos’s mother was Jewish, getting “a chuckle out of the crowd”.[136]

Santos’s former roommate said Santos frequently made antisemitic jokes and said that it was acceptable for him to do so because he was Jewish. The former roommate corroborated a claim that Santos previously joked online about Adolf Hitler killing Jews and Blacks.[140][141]

On December 21, 2022, following Santos’s November 2022 election to Congress, The Forward and Jewish Insider reported that Santos’s claims about his family’s alleged Jewish heritage were false.[7][138] His maternal grandparents were born in Brazil, not in Ukraine or Belgium.[7]

During a December 26, 2022 interview, Santos said: “I never claimed to be Jewish. I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background, I said I was ‘Jew-ish'”.[132] On December 27, 2022, the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) asserted that Santos would no longer be welcome at RJC events because he had “‘deceived’ the organization and ‘misrepresented’ his Jewish heritage”.[142]

In 2023 media appearances, Santos claimed that his claim to Jewish ancestry was vindicated by DNA test kits; however, he did not reveal the DNA information.[143][144][145] Santos said on a May 2023 podcast that he was raised Catholic but considered himself a “member of the tribe” because his mother’s ancestry was predominantly Jewish. Santos said he had many Jewish friends among his constituents and went to Shabbat dinners “more often than most”.[145] Six months later, he promised CNN’s Manu Raju that he was still working on getting proof of his grandparents’ ancestry, but that he was experiencing difficulty due to the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War.[n] In November 2023, Santos reportedly said that he was “finishing getting the last pieces” of evidence that his grandparents, after emigrating to Brazil, had forged documents that enabled them to “blend in and all of that”.[147]

In 2020, Santos claimed that he was biracial and that his Brazilian-born father had Angolan roots. Jewish Insider could not confirm this information.[22][138]


On his campaign website, Santos wrote that his mother was “the first female executive at a major financial institution”, worked in the South Tower of the World Trade Center, and died “a few years later” after surviving the September 11 attacks.[148] On her 2003 visa application, however, his mother stated that she had not been in the country since 1999;[149] in June 2001, Fatima reported that she was living in Brazil.[150] Her actual occupation has been described as domestic worker[151] or home care nurse.[152][153]

Upon the death of Santos’s mother, a Brazilian newspaper described her as a cook. Santos’s former roommates and friends said she spoke no English.[41] In July 2021, Santos wrote that “9/11 claimed my mothers [sic] life”. In an October 2021 interview, he said his mother was “caught up in the ash cloud” during 9/11 but “never applied for relief” because the family could afford the medical bills. In December 2022, he claimed that his parents survived being “down there” at the World Trade Center during 9/11.[154][155] A priest at the family’s Catholic church reported that when Santos’s mother died in 2016, Santos told him that the family could not afford a funeral. The priest recalled that a collection at a memorial Mass raised a “significant” amount for the family, which he gave to Santos.[148] He also had a friend set up a GoFundMe.[156] In November 2023, Vanity Fair reported that the funeral home never received the $6,000 it was owed for its services.[157]

In his February 2023 Piers Morgan interview, Santos insisted his mother had been at the World Trade Center the day of the attack. “It’s quite insensitive to try to rehash my mother’s legacy”, he said. “She wasn’t one to mislead me … I stay convinced that’s the truth”.[158]


In 2019 and 2020, Santos said that he attended the Horace Mann School, an elite preparatory school in the Bronx, before withdrawing because of family hardship. After the school denied those claims, Santos asserted that he had attended Horace Mann for only six months in ninth grade and suggested that he had used one of his other names. The school reiterated that it had no record of a student at the time using any variation of Santos’s name.[159][41][160][161] Santos’s biographer wrote that although Santos has retracted claims about his higher education, he remained adamant about having attended Horace Mann despite the complete absence of evidence supporting this claim.[161]

Santos falsely claimed to hold a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics from Baruch College and to have graduated near the top of his class. His claimed period of attendance overlapped with his time in Brazil.[22][40] Santos’s friends recall times when he claimed to be taking classes at Baruch but never seemed to study.[41] In January 2023, Santos falsely told a Republican Party chairman that he had been a “star player” on the Baruch volleyball team (as his LinkBridge supervisor had been), having won the league championship and defeated Yale University. At the time in question, Yale had no men’s varsity volleyball team.[162][163][164] In a pre-election radio interview, Santos said his supposed volleyball career led to him needing both knees replaced.[165][166] Santos later admitted that he had never graduated from college.[85]

Campaign documents claimed that Santos held a master of business administration (MBA) from New York University (NYU) and that he had scored a 710 on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).[127][40] In a 2020 podcast Santos claimed to have paid off his MBA student loans by 2020.[167] A prospective Harbor City investor recalled Santos telling him he had turned down an offer to attend Harvard Business School.[49] Gregory Morey-Parker, a roommate who lent Santos money in 2014 that has not been repaid, recalled that Santos claimed to be a graduate of NYU’s business school but seemed not to know its name.[151][o]

In his interview with Morgan, Santos said that he lied about his college experience to meet perceived societal expectations. He added that he could not afford to attend college.[158] Santos said he did not know the source of the spurious GMAT score in his resume published by the Nassau County Republican Committee. Morgan asked why Santos thought he could get away with lying about his education in a congressional election, and Santos replied that no one had raised any questions about his claims during his 2020 campaign.[168] In a February 2023 Newsmax interview, Santos blamed his résumé lies on the local Republican Party;[169] later, after expulsion from the House, he said that a campaign staffer had written his resume.[170]


Santos has used various aliases, including “Anthony Zabrovsky” and “Anthony Devolder”.[171][159][156] A 2011 Wikipedia userpage created under the latter name claims that the account holder had acted in Hannah Montana and The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.[34]

After returning to the U.S. from Brazil, Santos told friends that he had worked as a journalist for Brazilian media conglomerate Globo.[172] The New York Times could not find his name on the organization’s website.[41] Santos also told a roommate in late 2013 that he was a model who had worked at New York Fashion Week and would be appearing in Vogue.[172]

Santos has called himself a “seasoned Wall Street financier and investor” and said he had worked for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, but neither company has any record of him.[22] His campaign website stated that he was “an associate asset manager in the real asset division” of Citigroup,[85] but the company sold its asset management division in 2005, before his claimed period of employment.[22] On a 2022 podcast, Santos claimed that while employed at Goldman Sachs seven years earlier, he had attended the SALT Conference; while there, he had allegedly criticized the company for investing in renewable energy, calling it a taxpayer-subsidized scam. Anthony Scaramucci, who runs the conference, said there is no record that Santos ever attended.[159]

Santos worked as a customer service representative at a call center for Dish Network in College Point, Queens from October 2011 to July 2012, overlapping the time he said he worked at Citigroup.[38][151] He later told the New York Post that his Citigroup claim was “a poor choice of words” and that a subsequent employer had been in “limited partnerships” with those companies.[132] Acquaintances and coworkers said that Santos claimed his family was wealthy and had extensive real estate holdings in the U.S. and Brazil.[151] He repeated this claim during his 2022 congressional campaign, saying that he and his family owned 13 rental properties in New York. No such properties were listed on his campaign’s financial disclosure forms or in public records.[22] Santos later admitted to the Post that the claim was false and that he owned no properties as of the end of 2022.[132]

In a November 2022 interview, Santos discussed the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting that took place in Orlando, saying that his company “lost four employees” there.[82] The New York Times found no connection between the 49 victims killed in the attack and any company named in Santos’s biography.[22] In a December 2022 interview, Santos changed his story, saying, “We did lose four people that were going to be coming to work for the company that I was starting up in Orlando”.[85]

During his 2022 congressional campaign, Santos told prospective donors that he was a producer for the musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Michael Cohl, Spider-Man‘s lead producer, denied that Santos was involved with the show. The musical’s playbills did not contain his name. Santos was living in Brazil in 2011 when the show opened, and his alleged time as producer overlaps his employment at Dish Network.[173]

In August 2023, Santos downplayed the significance of the many false or exaggerated claims he had made related to his job history, saying that he had not posted his résumé online during his campaign. He also noted that “studies show that most people lie on their resumes. It’s just unfortunately … the reality”.[174]


During his 2020 campaign, Santos gave his address a residence in Elmhurst, Queens, located outside the district in which he was then seeking office.[151][p] Santos and his partner later moved to a rowhouse in Whitestone, Queens; its owner said they had moved there in July 2020.[151] In March 2022, Santos told Newsday that he left Whitestone because of an alleged January 2021 vandalism incident.[151] He was registered to vote at the Whitestone address during his congressional campaigns, but did not appear to live there.[22]

Santos’s landlord said he moved out of the Whitestone residence in August 2022, leaving $17,000 in damages,[151] but records showed he was still registered there when he voted that November. According to the landlord, Santos continued to receive mail there after the election, including the certificate of his election victory.[175] Santos told reporters he planned to move to Oyster Bay, but he and his partner apparently moved into a house in Huntington (outside the boundaries of the 3rd congressional district) in August 2022.[151][p] He told the Post the house was his sister’s, but The New York Times later found she lived in Elmhurst.[176]


On at least three occasions, Santos has claimed to have been the victim of various unreported crimes. In January 2016, he claimed to have been robbed of the money he was on his way to give his former landlady’s attorney in settlement of her eviction claim against him.[177] Five years later, Santos claimed he and his partner had found stones and eggs thrown at their Whitestone apartment after they returned to it from a party at Mar-a-Lago. The owner, who lived in the building’s lower unit, did not recall any such incident; the Times found no relevant police report.[151]

After his election, Santos told two Brazilian journalists on a podcast that during mid-2021, he had been mugged in New York City as he walked out of a building at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 55th Street in mid-afternoon. Thieves, he said, made off with his briefcase, watch, and shoes, and fled the scene before anyone noticed anything. Vanity Fair noted that the intersection in question is one of the busiest in the city with high security at its luxury businesses. Santos did not provide a police report of the incident.[178] His description of the alleged assault included a comment that has been characterized as an “overtly racist” stereotype about Black people being likely to commit crimes.[179]

In October 2023, Santos told the Times that a few months earlier, his niece had vanished from a Queens playground, only to be found 40 minutes later in the company of two Chinese men. He claimed to suspect that the incident was retaliation for his opposition to the Chinese Communist Party. The newspaper found that while the incident had been reported to police, investigators found no evidence to support the story and suspected it had been invented.[180]


In addition to his claim in October 2020 of having both knees replaced,[165][166] Santos said in an interview earlier that year that he had been diagnosed with a brain tumor and received radiation treatment. He also claims to suffer from an immunodeficiency and acute chronic bronchitis. When asked in 2022, his campaign did not give details or answer questions about his purported brain tumor.[181]

Charitable work

In his 2020 campaign online biography, Santos claimed he and his family had worked charitably on behalf of children born with the rare genetic skin disorder epidermolysis bullosa (EB). Vice News found that no one involved with the few charities that specifically work with EB patients in the U.S. or Brazil had ever heard of or received contributions from him.[182] Sometime during 2022, the campaign changed the website so it no longer mentioned EB; the revised language said that his family’s charitable efforts were directed at “helping at-risk children and America’s veterans”.[183]

Campaign finance

During Santos’s 2020 campaign, one consultant who met Santos called him “a walking campaign-finance violation” and said that Santos frequently volunteered ideas for getting around restrictions. One of Santos’s ideas was to have donors who had reached their contribution limits give to other Republicans’ PACs, which would then donate the money back to him.[62]

Financial disclosures

In September 2023, Santos filed personal financial disclosure forms the House requires of congressional candidates. The forms were filed 20 months after they were due.[q] The Leader took note of the contrast between these forms and similar forms Santos had filed for the 2020 elections. In 2020, he had listed a net worth of $5,000 and claimed that his only income was his $50,000 Harbor City Capital salary;[r] his tax return for that year (dated in April 2023), the House Ethics Committee reported, reports over $90,000 in total income from Devolder.[186] Over $80,000 in loans Santos claimed to have made to his campaign that year were, the committee found, mostly fictitious, vastly overstating the campaign’s available funds to the point that one staffer waited eight months to be paid;[187] the nearly $28,000 in repayments the campaign reported making to Santos were thus pure profit for him.[188] Santos’s lawyer blamed the treasurer of his joint fundraiser committee (JFC) Nancy Marks’ incompetence or malfeasance for the reports; the committee found evidence that both were aware that at least one of the loans was fictitious as Santos had informed her by text that he did not have enough money in his bank account at the time to make the loan.[189]

By 2022, he said he was worth between $2.5 and $11 million, including $1–5 million in personal bank accounts, a Rio condominium valued between $500,000 and $1 million, and business interests accounting for the rest. He reported no real property in the U.S., at odds with past claims that he owned two mansions on Long Island, one of which, in the Hamptons, he had reportedly told fellow Republicans he was selling for around $10 million because he rarely used it (the Leader reported that at the time, someone with no connection to Santos owned it, and it was valued at $2 million).[77] In 2023, the House Ethics Committee noted that the 2022 form did not disclose Santos’s Harbor City salary, the unemployment benefits he had received while working for Harbor City, and $20,000 he had made in stock trades, all during 2021.[190]

A $600,000 loan Santos had reported making to his campaign earlier in the year on his required campaign financial disclosure forms was not listed as a liability on his personal forms, even as he had disclosed a $20,000–50,000 car loan he took out for the Nissan he drove.[s] Federal prosecutors later said Marks told them that loan had been fictitious.[191] Santos said later that the loan was real and he had been the source; he said it was made in September and October 2022 and could not explain why Marks had recorded the transaction as having taken place six months earlier.[180][t] He claimed no income.[77]

Bank records obtained by the Ethics Committee showed that Santos did indeed loan his campaign $715,000 in five installments from his personal savings account and Devolder’s checking account over a period of almost a month throughout September and October 2022. The loan followed $800,000 in payments to Santos and two companies he owned or controlled. While the payments appeared to relate to legitimate business activity, the committee believed the “timing, amounts and other circumstances of the payments” raised the possibility that they were in fact meant to benefit Santos’s campaign and would, if so, be illegal campaign contributions. It did not investigate further since the Department of Justice asked it not to.[192] Santos’s January 2024 FEC filing, covering the period during which he was expelled from the House, continues to report the $715,000 debt.[193]

In July 2023, his campaign reported repaying Santos $85,000, more than half the money he had raised during the second quarter of the year, and said he was still owed $530,000.[194] In a later interview, Santos said he was able to take advantage of a network of around 15,000 “wealthy investors, family offices, ‘institutions’ and endowments” after leaving Harbor City Capital and forming Devolder Organization LLC to get contracts worth several million dollars. “If you’re looking at a $20 million yacht, my referral fee there can be anywhere between $200,000 and $400,000″, he said. He did not identify any of his clients when asked to do so.[53]

In March 2023, it was reported that Santos had brokered the sale of a yacht the previous October, around the time of the loans, just before the election, between two of his major campaign contributors. He had negotiated the sale of the 141-foot (43 m) Namaste, with cabins for 12 guests and seven crew plus a waterfall, infinity pool, and outdoor shower, for $19 million. The seller was a Florida lawyer whose wife had given over $10,000 to one of Santos’s campaign committees, the buyer was a Long Island car dealer who has given $17,000 to Santos’s committees (the man’s former wives also gave $10,000). It is not known how much Santos received as a commission on the deal. The transaction is not itself illegal, but the timing and participants could suggest an effort to circumvent campaign finance limits or condition his services on receipt of campaign contributions, each of which would be criminal. Federal and state authorities are investigating the circumstances.[195] Santos’s lawyer later said he was not involved in the sale in any way.[196]

After spending more money than he raised in the first quarter of 2023, Santos reported receiving $133,000 during the second quarter, a low amount for a candidate in a swing district at this point in the cycle and considerably less than his challengers in both parties had raised, much less than other Republican freshman incumbents in the region. All but four named donors were from outside the 3rd district; many were from California. Donors who reported their occupations as “part-time cashier” or “student” gave $3,300 each. Many had never made political contributions before. A large group had Chinese or Asian last names; they told the Times that they were supportive of Santos’s opposition to the CCP,[197] and were also supporters of indicted exiled Chinese billionaire Miles Guo, whom Santos has defended.[198] Others said they made the donations as a joke or because they admired his conservative voting record.[197]

Santos was granted a 90-day extension on the deadline to file his 2023 financial disclosure. He had still not filed it by August, when it expired, a lapse which could lead to fines against him from the House Ethics Committee.[199] In September, when the 30-day grace period expired and Santos had still not filed it, he said he would “rather be late, accurate, and pay the fine than be on time, inaccurate, and suffer the consequences of a rushed job.” He said that since he had until November to file his amended 2022 income tax return, it was preferable to wait until then to make sure the information on both forms was consistent.[200]

The Ethics Committee obtained a copy of that tax return, filed shortly before its investigative subcommittee completed its report. On it, Santos claimed no income, rather a loss of over $70,000, for 2021, mostly due to Devolder losing over $90,000, which, it said, “bears no relationship to the company’s actual finances for 2021.” The loss instead appeared to be derived from transactions the following year. Santos’s negative income also conflicts with credit card applications he filled out during 2021 claiming over $100,000 in annual income.[190] As for Santos’s personal financial disclosure for 2023, the committee noted that while he had paid the $200 late fee, as of the release of the report in mid-November he was the only member of Congress not to have done so for that year. He had also not filed amended 2021 and 2022 reports despite the errors and omissions the committee had brought to his attention. “These were not inadvertent lapses, but major errors and omissions, and the evidence compiled by the ISC demonstrates that they were knowing and willful actions as part of an ongoing ruse by Representative Santos to fabricate a wealthy persona”, the committee wrote, pointing out that neither Santos nor his staff had logged into the computer system for filing reports since he had requested an extension in May. In addition to violations of House rules and the relevant federal laws, the committee added, these failures also constituted violations of tax law and regulations.[201]

The campaign nonetheless filed its third-quarter report in mid-October. It reported having refunded $17,000 in contributions while receiving $674 over the 90 days ending September 30, a very low sum for a campaign in a swing district where multiple challengers have been raising money a year in advance of the election. Expenditures came to $42,000, leaving the campaign with $23,000 on hand. It also reported $120,000 in new debt, which a note from the treasurer indicated appeared to have predated that reporting period.[202]

In its April 2024 FEC filings Santos’s 2022 campaign reported no spending and no money raised. Its debts had, unusually for a campaign almost two years after the election it was for, increased. Of nearly $800,000 owed, Santos claimed $630,000 was from his own personal loans to the campaign. Among other creditors was $6,000 to Boles’s consulting firm, reported for the first time, Il Bacco, Santos’s campaign manager Gabrielle Lipsky, and his lawyers.[203]

Campaign spending

During his campaign, Santos spent prodigiously; he used campaign funds to pay for shirts for staff from Brooks Brothers, meals at the restaurant at the Bergdorf Goodman department store, and $40,000 in airline fares, including to locations in California, Texas and Florida, and a stay at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida,[22] part of $30,000 in hotel bills, $14,000 paid to car services,[204] and an equivalent sum spent at a Queens restaurant.[205] That much airfare, the Times later noted, is far more than most candidates spend on their first election and closer to the amounts spent by party leaders who have served in Congress for years. Two campaign aides told the Times that staff were increasingly concerned during the campaign that Santos was more interested in spending the $3 million raised for the race “frivolously” than on winning the election.[176] The October 2023 indictment suggests that at least $11,000 in spending on luxury items was money obtained through credit card fraud and identity theft, by Santos allegedly using donors’ credit card information without their knowledge or consent, representing himself as them, and diverting those funds to a company he controlled.[206]

The House Ethics Committee found several instances of apparent personal spending during and after the campaign that were not reported to the FEC. In February 2022, he had spent $1,700 at two Atlantic City casinos, $1,500 at a pet store, and smaller amounts on JetBlue, various retailers and the Adventureland amusement park in East Farmingdale on Long Island. A July hotel bill in excess of $3,000 was reported, but conflicts with Santos’s personal calendar showing he was elsewhere at the time and not doing any campaigning. Charges for a taxi and hotel in Las Vegas were made to the campaign during a time when Santos said he was there for his honeymoon. At the end of November, following his election victory, Santos’s campaign wired him $20,000, which also went unrecorded. He spent $6,000 of it at Ferragamo, withdrew $1,000 in cash from a Queens ATM and, later, $800 at a casino. Other money was used to pay his rent.[188]

Santos’s campaign finance reports listed a company called “Cleaner 123” as receiving $11,000 over four months in rent for campaign staff housing in the district. Neighbors of the house said that Santos and his partner appeared to have been living there during that time.[176]

Santos continued to spend campaign money lavishly even after being expelled from the House. His FEC filing for the last quarter of 2023 reports a $1,300 expense at the Capitol Hill Club, a private Republican social club, on December 4, three days after his expulsion.[193]

Donations to other candidates

Santos’s campaign and GADS PAC reported making a combined $180,000 in contributions to other Republican campaigns. A review by the Times of those other campaigns’ financial reports found many instances where their reports and Santos’s reports did not match.[207]

The PAC reported making two $2,900 donations to Michelle Bond’s unsuccessful primary campaign for the Republican nomination in the neighboring 1st district. Her campaign’s reports show a single donation of $5,000, $800 less than Santos’s PAC reported. The PAC’s donations to Blake Masters‘s unsuccessful campaign for the U.S. Senate in Arizona are acknowledged by the recipient, but a subsequent $2,000 from Santos’s campaign committee is not, and the Masters campaign says it can find no records of it. The address Santos’s campaign gave for that contribution, like some of the donations Santos reported, was apparently fictitious, this one in the Florida Panhandle.[207]

This pattern also extended to Republican candidates for state office. Disclosure reports for those campaigns on file with the New York State Board of Elections in Albany show over 20 donations to them from Santos’s campaign and his PACs during the 2020–22 election cycle. There are no corresponding reports of those donations on Santos’s and GADS PAC’s FEC filings.[207]

Politico later looked at Santos’s 2020 campaign finance reports, and found similar discrepancies in both state and federal reports. Shortly after being formed in 2019, Santos’s campaign committee made its first donations, $9,000 total, to Trump’s presidential campaign committee and two local Republican organizations. The first, at $2,800, is not reported in the Trump campaign’s filings and exceeds the cycle limit for contributions from one campaign to another. The second is to the “Town of Oyster Bay Republican Club”, a nonexistent entity. The New York state records of two Republican organizations that do use the town’s name show no contributions from Santos. Similarly, a $2,000 contribution to the Nassau County Republican Committee is not reflected on that organization’s records. “It’s impossible to believe that all three of these political committees independently lost track of political donations from Santos’s campaign during this period”, a campaign finance lawyer the website spoke to said.[208]

In April 2023, Texas Representative Beth Van Duyne reported that her campaign had never received its share of a JFC created for a fundraiser held with Santos in July 2022. In a report filed by its treasurer, Nancy Marks, the JFC reported raising $11,600. Around $2,000 was spent on the event, at a Garden City, New York, restaurant; the rest was, according to the report, divided evenly between the two campaigns, with each receiving almost $5,000. A spokesman for the Van Duyne campaign said that money was never disbursed to them and that it will not hold further fundraisers with Santos through it. Santos’s campaign had no comment.[209]

Campaign finance lawyer Brett Kappel speculated that the failure to share the money might indicate that Santos’s campaign was using the JFC to evade campaign contribution limits. He noted that two contributors gave a combined $5,800 to it in August, equal to the amount they had already contributed directly, the legal maximum, to Santos’s campaign. There could be more innocent explanations, Kappel allowed, such as the check getting lost in the mail, but in that case, the campaign treasurers should have long ago resolved that. He also noted that although Santos’s campaign treasurers had both filed termination reports with respect to the JFC earlier in 2023, the FEC had not obliged by mid-April, suggesting that the JFC may be the subject of complaints to the commission.[209]

Unitemized expenses

In a later article, the Times noted that Santos’s campaign spent more than $5,000 on flights to and hotel stays in Washington and West Palm Beach, Florida, for Republican fundraisers in the first quarter of 2021, a time when the next congressional election was almost two years away and he had no primary challenger. By the end of the year, Santos’s reported expenses for those trips had reached $90,000 and had become more lavish, with hundreds of dollars spent on transportation, hotels, and food around the country.[207]

In early 2022, the campaign filed amended reports. Among the changes made were upward adjustments to some of the expenses he had reported at the end of 2021. A $60 meal at a Michigan sushi restaurant was now reported as having cost $199.99, along with three additional expenses of that exact amount on that date. Five previously reported Uber and taxi rides went from $267 total to $445. A subsequent amended report, in May, reported no transactions on the date to which the sushi dinner had previously been attributed.[207]

Santos’s campaign financial disclosures went on to include many other expenses of $199.99—one cent below the $200 threshold at which campaigns are legally required to provide receipts and disclose recipients.[176][210] An election law expert the Times talked to suggested that this could indicate awareness of the law and intent to violate it.[176][u] One of those expenses was for a Miami hotel where rooms rarely rent for under $600 a night.[212] The Times later reported that other Miami businesses where the campaign reported spending money could not find receipts for those amounts or said the expenses did not reflect the prices of the products allegedly purchased.[213]

Politico later compared Santos’s campaign reports to other congressional campaigns that spent similar total amounts, and found that only nine percent of them had recorded any expenses in the $199–200 range. Most of those were to the videoconferencing service Zoom, which offers a business plan for $199.90. Of 4,300 campaigns that filed reports during the cycle, only 25 reported any expenses of exactly $199.99; of those, the most times that amount was claimed was four, while Santos’s campaign claimed it 37 times. Politico called this “a statistical improbability”.[212]

The Times noted that the $199.99 transactions reached a total of 1,200 separate payments in Santos’s early 2022 amended report, totaling over $250,000. They were still in the amended report from May of that year, which had removed the larger sushi-dinner bill and taxi expenditures. By the end of the campaign, the total unitemized expenditures had exceeded $365,000, 12 percent of his total campaign expenses and six times that of any other member of Congress from New York. Since federal election regulations require that campaigns itemize all transactions with a particular vendor once the amount exceeds $200, the Times calculated that Santos’s campaign would have to have done business with over 1,800 separate concerns for all the unitemized transactions to be lawfully reported as such. His campaign lists 270. An expert at the Campaign Legal Center (CLC) said the campaign’s reporting was “so ludicrous that it’s completely wrong” and suggested the campaign was covering up its actual expenses.[207]

Santos suggested in a subsequent interview that the recurrences of “$199.99” could have been clerical errors that could be “rectified if there is any discrepancy.”[214]

Il Bacco restaurant

Il Bacco in Little Neck

During his two congressional runs in 2020 and 2022, Santos reported having spent over $25,000 at Il Bacco, an eatery popular for New York City Republican events;[210] he had also entertained prospective Harbor City clients there.[49] Santos’s 2022 campaign reports owing Il Bacco nearly $19,000 for its election night victory party, in addition to seven of the instances where the campaign had reported spending exactly $199.99.[210]

Santos appointed Il Bacco’s owner, Giuseppe “Joe” Oppedisano,[215] along with his daughter, the restaurant’s manager, to his campaign’s “Small Business for Santos” Coalition; Oppedisano in turn donated $6,500 to his campaign and its associated PACs. Oppedisano’s brother Rocco also gave Santos’s campaign $500. Because Rocco[216] is not a U.S. citizen and his permanent resident status was revoked after guns and drugs were seized from his properties in 2009, he cannot legally make campaign contributions.[210]

Political action committee

In July 2021, Santos loaned GADS PAC $25,000, five times what it had on hand at the time. The next day, the PAC donated the same amount to the campaign of Lee Zeldin, a Republican congressman from Long Island who became the party’s gubernatorial nominee in 2022. Starting in April 2022, GADS PAC, by then flush with donations from Santos supporters, repaid him in four installments over two months. Santos had effectively arranged for his campaign contributors to repay the loan. At the time these were reported, Robert Maguire, an expert on the subject at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), found several aspects of the transaction “extremely strange”, including Santos’s loan to a PAC (rather than his campaign committee, as is more typical) and his establishment of a leadership PAC for himself before even being elected to Congress (such PACs are used by party leaders and committee chairs or ranking members, to support colleagues).[68]

The House Ethics Committee examined Santos’s and GADS PAC’s bank records and found neither the 2021 loan nor one for $2,000 supposedly made to it by Santos a year later. Similarly, none of the $30,000 in repayments to Santos were actually made. Almost half that money was given to another New York political committee; neither it nor GADS PAC reported the transaction to the FEC.[217]

FEC investigations

During 2021–22, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) wrote over 20 letters to Santos’s campaign about problems with its disclosure reports. Fourteen concerned either contributors who had apparently exceeded the $2,900 per cycle limit and insufficient information on the terms and any co-guarantors or collateral of loans to the campaign. Some original reports also unlawfully described contributions as coming from anonymous donors. The campaign responded with amended reports, ultimately filing 36 in total[207] for the 10 periods in which reports were required.[218]

In December 2022, the FEC wrote to Marks, then Santos’s campaign treasurer, about the same problems, as well as other potential violations, including contributions from apparent political organizations not registered with the commission and insufficient disclosures regarding other contributions, such as the 48-hour notice required for contributions of more than $1,000 during the last 20 days before the election, after the last required report has been filed. The campaign had until January 24, 2023, to correct those violations by filing an amended report listing all required information and any corrective actions taken, such as returning the excess funds or applying them to a different candidate or cycle.[219] Santos’s attorney denied that the Santos campaign “engaged in any unlawful spending of campaign funds”.[220]

Also in January 2023, the CLC filed a complaint with the FEC over the Santos campaign’s apparent violations. The complaint alleged that Santos used campaign funds to pay personal expenses; concealed the source of $700,000 he had given his campaign; and falsified campaign expenditures.[221] End Citizens United (ECU) filed separate complaints with the FEC, Department of Justice, and Office of Congressional Ethics.[222] Accountable.US filed an additional FEC complaint by the end of the week, alleging over $100,000 in contributions over the limit.[223]

On January 24, the campaign filed amended reports with the FEC addressing the concerns it raised. The amendments largely consisted of unchecking the boxes that said two loans to the campaign, including the $750,000, had come from Santos’s personal funds and did not provide required explanations of who had lent the campaign the money. Other loans, in earlier reports that were amended, were still marked as having come from Santos. Campaign finance experts to whom the Times spoke said that was very unusual, as was the number of times the Santos campaign had to file amended reports.[224] In a mid-February interview, Santos said the money had come from his own finances and “I continue to not understand why there is this enormous inquisition and inquiry into my business practices and the legitimacy of it.”[214]

On January 27, it was reported that the Justice Department asked the FEC to suspend its probe while federal prosecutors conduct a parallel criminal investigation.[225] Also on January 27, five members of the House requested that the Attorney General open an investigation into violations of campaign law and the Foreign Agent Registration Act.[226] Four days later, the campaign filed year-end reports signed by a third treasurer, including a resignation letter from Marks dated January 25, although her signature remained on some reports dated later. There was also no paperwork from the campaign confirming the new treasurer’s hiring.[213] The position was offered to Thomas Datwyler, who refused the job. On January 27, Datwyler requested the FEC to refer the situation to the “appropriate law enforcement agency to determine whether a crime has occurred.”[227]

At the end of January, ECU filed another FEC complaint against the Santos campaign. It pointed to $260,000 it had raised after the 2020 election as a recount fund. New York allows for recounts at public expense when the margin is close, but Santos lost that election by a much wider margin, and the state does not allow candidates to request recounts even if they are willing to pay for them. The recount fund was thus unnecessary, but it reported paying several workers to observe the nonexistent recount. ECU also noted that several expenses appear to be duplicates of those the campaign reported before the election. Asked about amended campaign reports and the true source of the loan, Santos said that he “didn’t touch any of my FEC stuff” and that “Every campaign hires fiduciaries.”[213]

In February, the FEC informed Santos that because his campaign had raised more than $5,000 without any outstanding debts, he was deemed to be a candidate in the 2024 elections. The FEC gave Santos until March 14 to declare whether he would be a candidate;[228] on that day, Santos formally filed a statement confirming his candidacy.[229]

Campaign treasurer

The campaign’s amended reports from late January 2023 also listed a new campaign treasurer, Thomas Datwyler, who had worked in that capacity for Josh Mandel‘s 2022 campaign for the Ohio U.S. Senate seat later won by J. D. Vance until he was replaced because of what the campaign told the FEC were “a stunning number of inexplicable reporting errors”. Santos’s chief of staff had also worked for Mandel’s campaign.[230] Datwyler said he had nothing to do with the Santos campaign beyond declining the job,[231] and that someone else had signed his name to the filings.[232] The FEC sent another letter to the Santos campaign asking for clarification of the issue.[231]

In mid-February, the FEC gave Santos’s campaign until March 14 to name a new treasurer or it would be suspended from raising or spending money until it did.[233] A week later, the campaign reported it had hired a new treasurer, Andrew Olson, who gave the same Elmhurst address that Santos had when he ran for office,[234] and where Tiffany Santos had lived until mid-January after she settled an eviction case with the landlord. Businesses on the building’s ground floor told CNN they knew no person by that name working at that address. “I’ve never seen this before: Having a complete mystery as a treasurer for a sitting member of Congress”, said CREW’s Jordan Libowitz.[235]

Olson had never worked for any other campaign and did not give a phone number on the form.[236] Local Republican officials had never heard of him either.[235] The form also incorrectly described the committee as a national committee of the Republican Party. Campaign finance lawyer Brett Kappel called that a “mind-boggling” mistake. “I was frankly shocked that someone would file that in this situation”.[237]

The Daily Beast reported in October 2023 that Olson did in fact exist, but was, according to Santos, agreed by him and Datwyler, a longtime friend and business associate of Olson’s, to be a front for Datwyler, as he may have done for other Republican campaigns that have drawn regulatory scrutiny at the state level. During Olson’s apparent tenure as treasurer, monthly payments from the campaign to the Detroit law firm Dickinson Wright, where prominent Republican lawyer Charlie Spies is a partner, for legal and political consulting that had remained relatively small stopped being reported, although Spies seems to have continued working for Santos. After Olson’s departure, his replacement reported paying $20,000 of $90,000 owed to Dickinson, a debt he had learned of since taking the job that had not apparently been previously reported. the address given for the firm was a Wisconsin post office box used by Datwyler’s consultancy. A campaign-finance expert speculated to the Beast that the Dickinson Wright payments might in fact be an effort to pay Datwyler for actually performing as the campaign’s treasurer.[238] Datwyler’s lawyer, who had previously disavowed any connection between his client and the Santos campaign and demanded the FEC investigate how Datwyler’s name came to be used on some of Santos’s filings, told the FEC later in the month when he withdrew the allegations that Datwyler may not have been truthful with him and he was reconsidering his representation.[239]

In late May 2023, after he was indicted, Santos made a new FEC filing listing himself as treasurer. This is legal, but candidates rarely do it.[240] In a filing a day later he announced that he had hired Jason D. Boles, previously a campaign treasurer for House representative Marjorie Taylor Greene.[241] Four days later CREW filed another complaint with the FEC over the campaign’s changes in treasurer in the preceding months, alleging that Datwyler’s electronic signature had been forged and that Olson was entirely fictitious. It also sent a copy of the complaint to Peace, the head of the Justice Department’s criminal division, and the director of the New York FBI office.[242]

When Santos filed new paperwork with FEC after announcing he would challenge LaLota in the 2024 Republican primary, Boles was listed as treasurer.[91]

Alleged use of fictitious donors and donations

Mother Jones found in late January 2023 that many contributions to Santos’s 2020 campaign were from fictitious or nonexistent names and addresses, all given through WinRed, an online processor of small-donor contributions for Republicans. Twelve donations, totaling $30,000 of the $338,000 Santos reported raising from individual contributors, were from real people who denied having donated the amount claimed. Nine of those donors were among the 45 listed as having given Santos the maximum allowed under law for both the primary and general cycles.[227] The magazine later found that relatives of Santos in Queens who had been reported to have given his campaign over $45,000 denied having made those donations; one said he could not have afforded the amount.[243]

As part of its investigation into $365,000 in unitemized campaign expenditures, the Times found some Santos donors who said they were reported to have given more than the legal limit and more than their own records showed, sometimes in ways that suggested an attempt to make the contributions appear legal. One donor said the $20,000 the campaign reported he gave ($7,000 more than his records showed in contributions to Santos and related organizations) was in 24 separate transactions, all of which used his former address but different versions of his name, and incorrectly claimed he had a spouse.[207]

Federal prosecutors later said Marks had told them she made up contributions from members of Santos’s family and hers in 2021 so the campaign could appear to have raised more than $250,000 from third parties in the third quarter of that year. By doing so the campaign qualified for financial and logistical assistance from the Republican National Committee (RNC).[191] Those numbers also helped dissuade other candidates from entering the race for the nomination.[244] Shortly after Marks’s guilty plea Santos was indicted on charges related to the scheme.[206]

Alleged credit card fraud and misuse of WinRed

TPM reported on a contributor to Santos’s 2020 campaign who had, after repeated contacts and an assurance from Zeldin’s campaign staff that Santos was a credible candidate, given $1,000 by credit card, over the phone. They decided not to contribute to Santos after that but found their credit card bill recording additional donations to Santos through WinRed during 2021 and 2022, almost $15,000 total, some of which exceeded cycle limits. WinRed, which has been accused of signing donors up for recurring contributions they never agreed to, was unable to find any record of those transactions and eventually refunded $2,000 to them, which the Santos campaign FEC filings do report. The donor, who does not believe the charges were accidental since they were for different amounts, was ultimately given a full refund by American Express.[245]

In August and September 2021, the donor told TPM that their card had also been used to make two unauthorized contributions of the $2,900 maximum to Tina Forte, the Republican challenger to Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the district neighboring Santos’s, whom they had never heard of. They were not the only donor to experience this. One woman who gave Forte $25 through WinRed found the next day that her card had been charged $5,800, an amount more than 10 times any donation she had ever made through the site; she received a full refund the next day.[245]

In July 2023, Jen Remauro, Forte’s campaign manager, told the Times that she believed Red Strategies USA, the consulting firm (partly owned by Santos) that the campaign had hired, had inflated fees charged by WinRed in its reports. Two years earlier, Forte’s campaign had raised $42,000 in the preceding quarter, an amount greatly reduced by the $35,000 Red Strategies reported paying to WinRed in “credit card fees”. Remauro knew that WinRed charged only four percent per transaction, and thus for Forte’s campaign to owe that much it would have to have raised over $800,000. The next quarter, the pattern continued, with Red Strategies paying WinRed $51,000 out of the $86,000 raised. After Remauro complained, the filings were amended in October 2021 to show a payment of $6,200. Santos’s lawyer Murray blamed those errors on Marks, Santos’s former campaign treasurer, and said his client regretted ever having done business with her.[196]

NBC News found a similar discrepancy related to the Santos campaign’s own use of WinRed.[246] The platform charges a standard 3.94 percent fee for processing contributions. WinRed reported handling almost $800,000 in contributions for Santos, so the Times calculated that the campaign should have paid WinRed around $33,000. Instead, the campaign reports having paid WinRed $206,000, leaving $173,000 unaccounted for.[207] Similarly, NBC calculated that for Santos’s campaign to have actually owed that money, it would have had to have raised $5.2 million through WinRed; it reported raising $1.7 million in total individual contributions from all sources.[246]

The discrepancy might just have been the mistaken inclusion of fees paid to outside vendors through WinRed, a practice the platform explicitly warns against. Kappel told NBC that “the treasurer [seems to have had] access to little, if any, supporting documentation” when preparing Santos’s FEC reports. “[This] might merely be another example of the campaign’s poor accounting practices.”[246]

The October 2023 superseding indictment alleges a scheme involving the unauthorized use of donor credit cards to make contributions without identifying the donors involved or explaining how the campaign obtained their credit information. It charges Santos with aggravated identity theft, access device fraud and credit card fraud, all felonies.[206] When Santos consultant Sam Miele pleaded guilty to wire fraud a month later, he admitted to conduct he had not been charged for, where he had used donors’ credit cards without their permission and lied to donors how the money raised would be spent, over the previous three years. One of the latter donors gave the campaign $470,000.[247]

In a letter to his colleagues the day Santos was expelled from the House, a fellow Republican, Max Miller of Ohio, alleged that Santos had used his and his mother’s credit card information to make unauthorized illegally large campaign contributions. Miller said he had to spend thousands of dollars on lawyers to rectify the situation, and called Santos a “crook” on the House floor. He said also in his letter that he had seen a list of 400 people, including some other Republican congressmembers, similarly defrauded by Santos.[248]

Santos’s campaign finance report for the last quarter of 2023, the period during which he was expelled from the House, lists a $16,000 debt to WinRed, as well as repayments to the site. His campaign committee had not previously disclosed any transactions with the site.[193]

Misrepresentations in fundraising

Santos’s campaign paid $50,000 in fees to Miele, who had called Republican donors falsely claiming to be then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s chief of staff and asking them to support Santos.[61] In mid-January 2023, McCarthy said though he had “some questions about it”, he had “no idea” about the falsity of Santos’s résumé when he ran, nor that Miele had posed as McCarthy’s chief of staff, Dan Meyer.[249][250] Some contributors to the Santos campaign said they were motivated to give to him because of his supposed Wall Street experience or his claim to be Jewish, both later found to be fictitious, and felt cheated in the wake of those disclosures.[249] Following an August indictment on charges of wire fraud, identity theft, and money laundering,[251] Miele pleaded guilty in November to one count of wire fraud; his lawyer would not say whether he had agreed to testify against Santos.[247]

Red Strategies and RedStone Strategies

RedStone Strategies, a super PAC supporting Santos in the race that told potential donors a month before the election that it had raised $800,000 and was seeking to raise another $700,000, did not register with the FEC as a campaign organization. It was thus not known who donated to RedStone or ran it; the Devolder Organization and Jayson Benoit, one of Santos’s former Harbor City coworkers who lived at and owned the Merritt Island address,[47] were listed as officers of a similarly named concern in Florida records. There is no record that RedStone spent any money on advertising in support of Santos. It also described itself as a 501(c)(4) organization, which means that while it can spend on political advocacy as long as that is not its primary purpose, it cannot support candidates directly.[205]

RedStone received $110,000 in a series of 76 payments over 2021 from Tina Forte’s campaign, whose treasurer was the same former Harbor City coworker of Santos’s and a co-owner of RedStone along with Marks and the Devolder Organization. Forte’s campaign’s FEC reports have some issues as well, such as many unnamed donors and $14,000 in reimbursements to the candidate for unnamed personal expenses, along with the allegations from donors of unauthorized credit charges via WinRed.[245]

Demauro, Forte’s campaign manager, said that Santos recommended that they hire the similarly-named Red Strategies USA as a consultant in 2021 without disclosing that he had an interest in the firm, and even seemed to have pretended to be meeting its principals, former Harbor Hill associates, for the first time along with Demauro. The agreement between the campaign and Red Strategies called for the firm to keep 80 percent of any funds it raised, an amount Demauro believes the campaign was trying to obfuscate with its initially inflated statements of WinRed credit card fees. She recalls that Marks, the campaign treasurer, repeatedly ignored her requests for bank and account statements; her own paychecks were frequently late.[196]

The House Ethics Committee reported that a witness identified as working for the Forte campaign[v] confronted Santos in December 2021 about his failure to disclose his interest in Red Strategies. The witness noted that Santos’s name was on the incorporation papers filed in May (it was actually the Devolder Organization). Santos responded that he had merely bought into the company in August.[252]

RedStone Strategies was formed in November 2021 following complaints from the Forte campaign about Red Strategies. Santos represented himself as its “managing partner” in signing one contract with another vendor; he also used a RedStone email address in his capital introduction work. During 2022 RedStone paid Santos at least $200,000;[w] an October payment of $50,000 was used by Santos over the next month to spend over $4,000 at Hermés, pay for some OnlyFans subscriptions and pay his rent and credit card debts.[254]

On October 5, 2023, Marks pleaded guilty in a federal court in Long Island to numerous campaign finance violations. Her plea agreement recommends she serve between 42 months to four years in federal prison.[255] Santos was indicted five days later on charges of wire fraud related to the diversion of funds to RedStone under the pretense that it was to buy television advertising when in fact none of it was, or could have been.[206]

Rise NY

In late 2020, after Santos had lost the election to Suozzi,[256] Marks and Tiffany Santos established a PAC called Rise NY, which paid RedStone $6,000 in April 2022. It later raised money from many Santos donors who had exceeded the $2,900 limit for direct campaign contributions. PACs are allowed to make unlimited contributions to candidates and parties, but cannot coordinate efforts with campaigns. Rise NY’s Twitter account posted accounts of voter registration events and rallies it claimed to have organized during the campaign; Rise NY reported paying salaries to some Santos campaign staff, $10,000 to a company Marks runs, and a $20,000 salary to Tiffany Santos. It also reported multiple expenditures at Il Bacco, the Queens Italian restaurant where Santos’s 2022 campaign spent $14,000, and at a gas station near Santos’s Whitestone apartment.[205][x] Newsday reported later that, for two months in 2021, Rise made Santos’s $2,600 rent payments, and it later paid $1,800 for three tickets for Santos and two guests to attend a gala sponsored by the Liberty Education Forum, a group the PAC gave over $50,000. It also reported $6,500 in payments to Santos.[256]

The House Ethics Committee, in reviewing bank records for Rise, RedStone and Santos’s businesses, found “numerous unreported transfers to and from the campaign bank account” during 2022. Some went to other accounts under Marks’s control, $10,000 to the Devolder Organization, and $50,000 went between Rise and the campaign, in amounts exceeding $20,000 at one point.[258]

Andrew Intrater, the financier who had lost most of the $625,000 Santos persuaded him to invest in Harbor City, said his $175,000 contribution to Rise NY was underreported to the state by $95,000 until a later amended report.[207] Later he learned that his contributions had amounted to 40 percent of the organization’s funding.[259] A $25,000 donation he made to RedStone Strategies, purportedly for a large television ad buy, was never reported to the FEC because RedStone had never registered with it.[207]

Mother Jones reported at the end of February 2023 that despite no official connection to Rise, Santos regularly solicited contributions to it and in some cases personally delivered checks from it, including two for $62,500 each to the Nassau County and Town of Hempstead Republican committees, suggesting that he had some role with Rise.[y] In late 2021, over $55,000 Santos raised by telling donors the money would be used to register voters was diverted to Outspoken Middle East, an LGBTQ-themed news platform aimed at that region of the world.[259]

Outspoken founder Charles Moran said he had approached Santos asking for financial help; since the contribution was legal for Rise to have made, he accepted it. Former ambassador Richard Grenell was also involved with starting Outspoken; he spoke at a Santos fundraiser around the same time and formally endorsed Santos in July 2022. Intrater told Mother Jones that he had only learned from them about the diversion and that Santos had told him repeatedly during 2021 that contributions to Rise were being spent to build the Republican Party in New York.[259]

Investigations and legal issues

House Ethics Committee

In January 2023, Ritchie Torres and Dan Goldman, House Democrats from New York, filed an ethics complaint with the House Ethics Committee over Santos’s financial disclosure reports. In March, the House Ethics Committee announced a formal inquiry and created a subcommittee to investigate allegations of having failed to provide proper financial disclosures to the House, sexual misconduct, and conflict of interest.[261]

In June, the committee announced that it was expanding its investigation to cover the unemployment fraud alleged in the May 2023 federal indictment of Santos.[262] It announced that it had sought the voluntary cooperation of about 40 witnesses and subpoenaed 30 others.[263]

Two months later, Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the most senior Democrat in the House and a former member of the party’s leadership, wrote the Ethics Committee asking they make public whatever they had found so far about Santos. “More than enough time has passed for the [committee] to conduct a fair and accurate assessment of the veracity of the allegations against Rep. Santos and of the scope of his misconduct”, he said.[264]

On November 16, the Ethics Committee released its Investigative Subcommittee’s report, accusing Santos of fraud similar to those he had already been criminally charged with,[265] such as diverting campaign funds for personal use, as well as money raised for RedStone Strategies that donors were told would be used on campaigns. The subcommittee listed some of those personal purposes, including over $4,000 to Hermés, plastic surgery and Botox, payments of personal credit card bills and other debts, travel to Atlantic City and Las Vegas that had no campaign purpose, and a small amount on OnlyFans subscriptions. In a news release accompanying the report, the committee said “[it]s investigation revealed a complex web of unlawful activity involving Representative Santos’s campaign, personal, and business finances … [He] sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit.” It believed “there was substantial evidence that Representative Santos violated federal criminal laws, some of which are the subject of the pending charges filed against him in court.”[266] Santos subsequently announced he would not run for reelection, although he would remain in Congress for the rest of his term. He called the report “a disgusting politicized smear that shows the depths of how low our federal government has sunk.”[89]

Brazilian check fraud charges

After obtaining his high school equivalency diploma, Santos spent time in Brazil. In 2008, he forged checks, stolen from a man his mother was caring for, to buy R$1,313 (about US$700) worth of clothing.[13] He gave his name as Délio.[26] When writing the checks, Santos presented identification bearing his photo but the check owner’s name. The store owner became suspicious when the signatures on two checks did not match.[13] A few days later another young man came in to return one of the pairs; the store clerk, who had had to cover the loss, traced Santos through the man’s Orkut profile.[26] Santos later admitted to the theft in a message to the clerk and confessed to police before he was charged with check fraud in 2010.[41][22] The case was archived by a Brazilian court in 2013 because authorities there were unable to locate Santos.[267][268]

In January 2023, Rio de Janeiro prosecutors announced that they would revive the fraud charges since they knew where Santos was.[269][267] In March 2023, prosecutors announced a plea bargain with Santos,[270] and in May 2023, Santos formally settled the bad check charges; under the agreement, agreeing to pay 24,000 Brazilian reais (almost US$5,000), with most compensating the defrauded salesman and the remainder donated to charity.[271]

Evictions and unpaid judgments

Santos was evicted from rented Queens properties (in Jackson Heights, Whitestone, and Sunnyside) three times in the mid-2010s over unpaid rent. A onetime roommate described moving into the first apartment in December 2013 after befriending Santos; it had only two bedrooms and one bathroom, and Santos shared it with his mother, sister, and later his boyfriend.[172] Morey-Parker recalls that eviction notices were sent monthly,[272] that new roommates rapidly cycled through the apartment,[273] and that Santos’s personal finances fluctuated wildly: “[He] would go to bars with rolls of hundred dollar bills and, three days later, he would have no money.”[274] Santos was locked out of the apartment in the summer of 2014 and told the housing court that he needed access to the apartment to feed pet fish, which a former roommate later said had never existed.[272]

Santos signed a lease on an apartment in Whitestone in 2014.[272][177][151] In 2023, Pedro Vilarva, who had been Santos’s boyfriend at the time, told the Times that Santos claimed he was expecting money from his investment work at Citigroup, so Vilarva paid most of the bills, but Santos “never ever actually went to work”.[41] The relationship soured in early 2015 when Vilarva stopped believing Santos’s promises, and after Vilarva came to believe Santos had taken his cell phone to pawn it, he discovered the 2013 Brazilian charges against Santos and moved out.[275][41]

Santos remained in the apartment through November of that year, owing a month and a half’s rent. His landlady filed for eviction, and he agreed to leave by December 24 and pay her $2,250 in back rent,[177] telling the court that his mother’s illness had hindered his ability to work but he would soon be able to repay the money from “business loans”.[272] In mid-January 2016, he told Queens Housing Court that he was mugged on his way to make the payment, but police were unable to take a report at the time, telling him to return later. The New York City Police Department (NYPD) has no record of the incident.[177]

In October 2015, a small claims court judge ordered Santos to pay Peter Hamilton $5,000 plus interest to repay a loan Hamilton made to Santos in September 2014 for moving expenses. In December 2022, Hamilton told The Times that the judgment had not been paid.[151]

In his third known eviction case, a Queens court entered a civil judgment of $12,208 against him in 2017.[22][276] In housing court, he said he would seek emergency rental assistance.[272] Santos told the Post that his mother’s illness had forced his family into debt at the time; as of December 2022 he had yet to pay the rent he owed, saying he “completely forgot about it”.[134]

Friends of Pets United

Santos claimed to have rescued over 2,500 animals as founder and operator of a charity called Friends of Pets United (FOPU) from 2013 to 2018. FOPU activities are poorly documented, and in 2022, The Times found little evidence of its existence other than a closed Facebook account; former volunteers and associates described it as disorganized and said that far fewer animals were saved. FOPU held fundraising events and donated money to other rescue groups, but several recipients said they received significantly less than what Santos promised. Santos told many people that FOPU was a legitimate charity, but it never received non-profit tax-exempt status from the IRS, was not registered as a charity with the state of New York, and never registered with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets as required of animal rescue groups from September 2017. The contractor providing animal-related services to New York City said that it never dealt with FOPU, and the group was not authorized to take dogs from city shelters. Santos said in February 2023 that he “never handled the finances” of FOPU, although its volunteers and groups that dealt with FOPU said that he seemed to be the only person who did so. All mentions of FOPU were removed from Santos’s official biographies as his other claims began to be widely questioned by the media.[277] Santos’s biographer described FOPU primarily as a vehicle for selling puppies from Santos’s personal Golden Retriever and those he obtained from commercial breeders, and as a means for Santos to conduct unaccountable fundraising in the name of other, better known rescue groups.[278]

Theft charges

In November 2017, Santos was charged with theft by deception in York County, Pennsylvania, after bad checks were written to an Amish dog breeder from his account. Days after he gave the breeder a $15,125 check for “puppies”, Santos and FOPU hosted an adoption event at a pet store. After the check bounced, the Pennsylvania charge was brought against him. Tiffany Bogosian, a school friend of Santos’s from Queens, assisted in getting the charges dropped after he told her that his checkbook had been stolen in 2017 and he had received an extradition warrant from Pennsylvania at his New York address in 2020. She successfully argued that the signatures on the checks were not Santos’s, and the case against Santos was dismissed in May 2021, after Santos ultimately paid the farmer who lodged the police report.[279][280][281][282] Santos’s record was expunged in November 2021.[279]

In February 2023, The Washington Post reported that three other Amish dog breeders allegedly were never paid by Santos but never filed police reports.[282]

Allegations of mishandling funds

In January 2023, retired U.S. Navy veteran Richard Osthoff and retired police officer Michael Boll accused Santos of having stolen funds donated to a GoFundMe fundraiser. In May 2016, Osthoff was homeless and was told that surgery to remove a life-threatening stomach tumor from his service dog would cost $3,000. A veterinary technician recommended that he contact the owner of FOPU, Anthony Devolder, one of Santos’s aliases, who then set up a GoFundMe page. After the fundraiser had reached its goal of $3,000 in June, Santos closed it and withdrew the money. Osthoff, Boll, and GoFundMe received no funds, and the dog died in January 2017.[283][284][285] GoFundMe banned Santos, who had organized the fundraiser, at the end of 2016.[285] Santos denied swindling Osthoff;[286] in October 2023 he denied even knowing him to the Times, which reported having text messages suggesting otherwise.[180] The FBI is investigating Osthoff’s allegations.[287]

The veterinary technician who had recommended Santos to Osthoff said that Santos later offered to raise funds to repair her farm in New Jersey so that it could be used for animal rescue.[277] FOPU held a 2017 fundraiser event, charging $50 per attendee, eventually raising $2,165, with Santos controlling the money.[277] The veterinary technician said that Santos was elusive and never gave her any of the proceeds, instead only giving excuses for not transferring the money.[22][277]

The owner of a Staten Island pet store told the Times that, after a successful series of fundraisers, Santos, whom the store owner knew under the name Anthony Devolder, asked him to make the check out to him personally rather than FOPU. The owner refused but later saw that on the payee line of the canceled check, FOPU had been crossed out and replaced with “Anthony Devolder”.[277]

A pet rescue operator in the Bronx told the Times that after Santos had boasted of his Wall Street experience and connections to her to assure her he could raise thousands of dollars for her organization, he held a fundraiser in March 2017 and then sent her a check for $400. She stopped working with him, believing he was either overpromising or skimming.[277]

Credit-card skimming

CBS has reported that Santos’s name came up in a 2017 international credit card skimming scheme perpetrated in Seattle by Brazilians. After Gustavo Ribeiro Trelha, a Brazilian living in Orlando, was arrested using a card skimmer at an automatic teller machine, a search of his car found an empty FedEx box with the return address of one of Santos’s former residences in Winter Park,[288] which he was later reported to have jointly leased with Santos,[289] the same one given on a Florida traffic ticket issued to Santos in October 2016.[288] CBS later reported that two Secret Service agents interviewed Santos in New York; he voluntarily surrendered two of his cellphones to them. The case remains open, but as of February 2023 Santos has not been identified as a suspect.[290]

After the story was reported in 2023, Trelha made a sworn declaration to the FBI that he had committed the crime at the urging of Santos, who had also taught him how to set up the skimmer and camera necessary to steal passwords and how to clone ATM and credit cards. The two had an agreement to split the proceeds, Trelha said, but after his arrest Santos kept all the money for himself, reneging on a promise to hire a top defense lawyer and pay Trelha’s bail. At the time he said he declined to tell federal authorities as Santos had threatened to report his Orlando roommates to immigration authorities as they were in the U.S. illegally.[291][z]

Santos told reporters the day after Politico reported the declaration that he was innocent. “Never did anything of criminal activity, and I have no mastermind event.” He said he had only met Trelha “a couple of times in my life” and that he had willingly assisted every law enforcement agency that contacted him: “Got information for them. Got everybody arrested and deported.”[294]

Sexual harassment allegation

Also in February 2023, Derek Myers, the prospective staffer who secretly recorded Santos admitting “errors of judgment” in making some of his claims, filed a sexual harassment complaint against Santos with the House Ethics Committee, alleging Santos had touched his groin inappropriately while inviting him out to a karaoke bar and telling Myers that his husband was out of town. Myers also alleged that Santos had violated House rules by having him work as a volunteer for a week before his paperwork was processed.[295] Santos denied the allegation. In June, Myers told the Ethics Committee that he had gotten the job after sending seven payments of $150 each to Santos’s director of operations.[296]

In its November report, the committee said it could not substantiate the allegation. Myers (unnamed in the report) had said the incident occurred while he and Santos were alone in the office going over mail from constituents. However, witnesses told the committee that staff did not want someone from outside the office going over mail, and that Santos had never been alone with Myers that day. The committee also noted inconsistencies in Myers’s testimony to them, and his admission that after the incident he reported it to the FBI in the hope of collecting money as an informant.[297]

Federal indictment

In May 2023, a grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York indicted Santos on 13 criminal charges: seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds, and two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives. Prosecutors accused Santos of “three distinct schemes”: fraudulent solicitation of political contributions, unemployment benefits fraud, and making false statements on the financial disclosure reports he submitted to the House of Representatives. In the fraudulent solicitation scheme, Santos allegedly persuaded two supporters to donate $25,000 each to a limited liability company controlled by him and then used the money for personal expenses. He told them it was a Super PAC and that the money would buy TV ads to support his campaign. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Santos also allegedly obtained a total of $24,000 in unemployment benefits from mid-2020 to April 2021 while drawing an annual salary of $120,000.[298][299]

At the arraignment the day the indictment was unsealed, Santos pleaded not guilty and was granted pretrial release on a $500,000 bond with conditions, including surrendering his passport and restricting his travel to Long Island, New York City, and Washington, D.C. Afterwards, he told reporters that this was a “witch hunt” and that he was still running for reelection in 2024.[298][300][301]

Prosecutors turned over 80,000 pages of material to Santos’s lawyers by June 2023.[302]

The names of the guarantors of Santos’s $500,000 bail bond were initially under seal.[303] Media outlets sought to unseal the names of the guarantors, a motion Santos opposed.[303][304] District Judge Joanna Seybert denied Santos’s appeal and ordered the names unsealed; they were revealed to be Santos’s father Gercino dos Santos Jr. and aunt Elma Santos Prevenand.[305][306] They had not been required to put up any cash or property as collateral for the bond but would be liable for the entire amount if Santos fled.[303][305]

In August 2023, Santos said he would not consider a plea deal at the time,[174] but a month later prosecutors told the judge that they were both sharing substantial new evidence with Santos and his lawyer while looking at “possible paths forward” with them, raising speculation regarding a possible plea deal,[307] which Santos has denied.[308]

Marks’s guilty plea in October was seen as an ominous development for Santos, referred to as “Co-Conspirator No. 1” in her plea agreement, due to the falsifications in his campaign finance reports she admitted to making. “One way or another, the government is going to use that information in his case”, said one law professor. Kappel said it was “bad news” for him, noting that the lack of a provision in the agreement that she continue cooperating may indicate that the government has enough evidence implicating Santos to believe her testimony would not be needed to convict him.[309] Her plea agreement alludes to text and email exchanges between her and Santos.[244]

Superseding indictment

Superseding indictment filed October 10, 2023 (document number 50 of the case)

Five days after Marks’s plea, prosecutors filed a superseding indictment, alleging 10 additional felonies committed by Santos including conspiracy against the United States, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, credit card fraud, and money laundering. These charges stemmed from not only the same effort to deceive the RNC Marks had admitted to, but the unauthorized use of donor credit cards, the money raised by RedStone by lying about its political status and the purpose of the spending, much of which Santos allegedly converted for personal spending on clothing and other luxury items. In an October 27 court appearance, Santos pleaded not guilty to the new charges.[206][310]

Santos learned of the additional charges when questioned by reporters after leaving a House Republican Conference meeting where he said he had not had access to his phone. He called them “bullshit” and explained that he had not handled any of his campaign finance reports. “I didn’t even know what the hell the FEC was” when he first ran for office, Santos said.[311] Later he attributed them to Marks’s mistakes and malfeasance.[180][aa]

In May 2024 Santos moved to have some of the charges dismissed. The dismissal relied on the Supreme Court ruling in the Dubin case that narrowed the applicability of the identity theft statute to cases where the act was at the crux of a predicate offense. His attorneys therefore argued that even if Santos had used the names of others in his FEC filings and credit card charges, as alleged in the indictment, that would not constitute an aggravated identity theft.[313]

Activity on the Cameo and OnlyFans platforms

Within three days after his expulsion from Congress, Santos started offering personalized videos on the website Cameo. He had initially charged $75 per video, raising his price to $500 per video in less than three weeks. Steven Galanis, one of the co-founders of the website, said that Santos’s videos represented one of “the best launches that [the website] ever had”. It was noted that the videos could potentially earn him well over “the $174,000 salary he earned as a member of Congress”.[314] Senator John Fetterman spent $343 for a Cameo video from George Santos, as a prank against his colleague, Bob Menendez.[315]

Comedian Jimmy Kimmel paid for videos to see if “there’s a line [that Santos] wouldn’t cross”. Kimmel aired some of the videos on his show, afterwhich Santos demanded $20,000 for the right to broadcast, which Kimmel refused to pay.[316] In response, Santos filed sued in February 2024 against Kimmel, ABC (Kimmel’s employer), and the Walt Disney Company (ABC’s owner) for $750,000, claiming that Kimmel intended to “ridicule” Santos.[317] Disney’s and ABC’s lawyers defended the broadcasting of the videos as fair use.[318]

In December 2023, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert parodied the way Santos offered to play the role of “Santos Claus” in his videos.[319]

Santos announced in April 2024 that he would revive his Kitara drag persona for Cameo videos, promising to donate to charity 20% of the proceeds.[320] The Tunnel to Towers Foundation, one of the charities Santos said proceeds from the Cameos would be donated to, said he had not informed them of his plans prior to making his announcement.[321]

In June 2024 Santos announced that he is starting an OnlyFans account.[322]

Personal life

Santos is openly gay.[323][324] He was married to a woman from 2012 to 2019,[325] despite previously being out, but lived with men he was involved with from 2013 on.[323] Santos did not widely acknowledge his marriage to the woman, a Brazilian national,[326] until it was reported in December 2022.[327] In statements acknowledging the marriage, Santos said that he loved his then wife; however, he also said that he had been comfortably and openly gay for at least the preceding decade, an assertion broadly supported by friends, former coworkers, and roommates.[85][326][328] Morey-Parker said that in 2014, the pair were on friendly terms and often socialized with him and others. Santos did not deny the marriage, but Santos was also open about his romance with his then boyfriend and told friends about it.[329]

Santos’s coworkers at Dish, who understood him to be gay, speculated in 2012 that perhaps he got married to access his claimed familial wealth, to appease his family’s concerns about his sexuality, or to help his wife with her immigration status.[330] Adriana Parizzi, who was a close friend of Santos from Brazil and roommate of his early on in the marriage, says the marriage was purely for immigration purposes and that Santos was paid $20,000 for it. The Washington Post reported that three of Santos’s former roommates confirmed this. Santos has denied the allegation.[26] Records show that a filing to dissolve the marriage in May 2013 was withdrawn in December of the same year. Four months later, Santos filed a family-based immigration petition on his wife’s behalf; it was approved in July 2014, typically seen as a sign that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services believed the marriage was valid.[326] According to Santos’s biographer, the woman has steadfastly refused to talk to the media about her relationship with Santos.[331]

In 2020, Santos said he was living with a partner named Matheus Gerard,[332] whom he has subsequently called his husband.[151][333] Santos says the couple wed in November 2021.[332]

In popular culture

On January 21, 2023, Saturday Night Live featured Bowen Yang as Santos in its cold open and Weekend Update segments.[334] Yang reprised the role on the March 11, 2023, cold open that parodied the red carpet at the 2023 Oscars, where Santos would claim to be Tom Cruise.[335] He returned on October 21, holding a baby during the cold open built around Rep. Jim Jordan‘s failed bid to become Speaker of the House,[336] and again on December 3 in the cold open about Santos’s expulsion from Congress.[337]

Comedian Jon Lovitz portrayed Santos on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, which resulted in a brief Twitter feud between the two.[338] Harvey Guillén and Nelson Franklin parodied Santos on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel Live!.[339] While hosting the 95th Academy Awards on March 12, 2023, Jimmy Kimmel joked that Santos was the “last directing team to win an Oscar.”[340]

In December 2023, a movie on his life was reported to be in development by Frank Rich for HBO Films.[341][342]

Electoral history

2020 New York’s 3rd congressional district election[64]
DemocraticTom Suozzi196,05652.6
Working FamiliesTom Suozzi9,2032.5
IndependenceTom Suozzi3,2960.9
Total Tom Suozzi (incumbent) 208,555 56.0
RepublicanGeorge Santos147,46139.6
ConservativeGeorge Santos14,4703.9
TotalGeorge Santos161,93143.5
LibertarianHoward Rabin2,1560.5
Total votes372,642 100
Democratic hold
2022 New York’s 3rd congressional district election[84]
RepublicanGeorge Santos133,85949.4
ConservativeGeorge Santos11,9654.4
Total George Santos 145,824 53.8
DemocraticRob Zimmerman120,04544.3
Working FamiliesRob Zimmerman5,3592.0
TotalRob Zimmerman125,40446.2
Total votes271,228 100
Republican gain from Democratic

See also



  1. ^ While Santos has used various aliases, he was charged in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York under the name “George Anthony Devolder Santos”.[2]

    He told Piers Morgan that his parents could not agree on what his first name should be, so they gave him both. His mother preferred Anthony, and always used it.[3] He used different combinations of his names at different times, settling on George Santos shortly before his first run for Congress at the suggestion of a local Republican activist, who liked the sound of it.[4]

  2. ^ Santos later claimed, in support of his opposition to abortion, that his birth was premature, at 24 weeks of gestation. It could not be determined if this was true.[6]
  3. ^ Fatima reportedly left one of the latter positions, in the home of Charles Goodman, son of Marvel Comics founder Martin, abruptly after questions were raised about missing items.[11]
  4. ^ His mother’s U.S. immigration records do not indicate that she ever became naturalized.[14]
  5. ^
    • “It’s always a pebble of truth and a mountain of lies” with him, one relative said.[18]
    • Fátima responded with “Oh God, Anthony and his stories” when asked to confirm one of them by a former roommate of Santos, after which she advised her interlocutor not to believe George’s accounts of his past.[19]
    • He reportedly kept money his aunt gave him to pay some of her bills; she did not find out until she received notice that they were overdue (She has never spoken on the record about her nephew).[20]
    • On two separate occasions, including one where he stopped someone from taking a bag of his own important papers at George’s behest, Gercino advised people to be careful regarding their dealings with him.[21]

  6. ^ “Shy and effeminate” as a child, a relative says, Santos was bullied by cousins; his family was not comfortable with his sexuality [27]
  7. ^ Brazilian Portuguese: [kiˈtaɾɐ ʁɐˈvaʃi]
  8. ^ Other evidence of Santos performing as a drag queen in Brazil includes:
    • A journalist, João Fragah, has said he interviewed Santos on video performing as Kitara Ravache.[30]
    • The Brazilian news program Fantástico published a video purportedly of Santos dancing in drag at Niterói’s 2007 gay parade; Fantástico cited digital crimes expert Wanderson Castilho confirming that this person was Santos.[31][32]
    • A Wikipedia user called “Anthonydevolder” (one of Santos’s aliases) wrote about himself on the site in 2011, giving Santos’s birth date, describing a similar family background, stating that at 17, he had been a drag queen in a gay nightclub and had won several gay beauty pageants, and identifying three supposed television and movie acting credits.[33][34]

  9. ^ At the time Santos took the regional director position, Harbor City had been banned from doing business in Alabama by that state’s Securities Commission, which alleged that the firm was “out to deceive Alabamians and profit off unsuspecting investors by using dazzling marketing tactics to sell unregistered bonds.”[47]
  10. ^ According to Mother Jones, Santos’ reported personal income increased from $55,000 in 2020 to between $3.5 million and $11.5 million in 2022 and 2023.[52]
  11. ^ A person or entity with an ownership interest in a limited liability company is called a member.
  12. ^ The House Ethics Committee noted that Santos’s frequent claims of wealth stood in stark contrast to his own financial reality: “[He] was frequently in debt, had an abysmal credit score, and relied on an ever-growing wallet of high-interest credit cards to fund his luxury spending habits.”[57]
  13. ^ Robert C. Scott and Nikema Williams
  14. ^ The New Republic noted that the war would have had no effect on the genealogy searches and DNA tests Santos had previously said were pending.[146]
  15. ^ The Stern School of Business
  16. ^ a b Members of the U.S. House are not required to live within the boundaries of their respective districts, but are required to reside in the same state in which they hold office.[85]
  17. ^ This deadline is rarely enforced, often due to candidates’ uncertainty that they will be running until after a primary victory, the House Ethics office’s lack of interest in the finances of unsuccessful candidates since they will not become members, and some candidates’ awareness that they are highly unlikely to win in a district dominated by the other party.[184]
  18. ^ The House Ethics Committee report documents text and email messages from early in that year in which Santos at least represented himself as having more money than he actually possessed. He told Marks at one point that he had lost $700,000 in the value of stocks he owned due to recent comments by the Treasury Secretary; the committee was unable to determine what securities, if any, he owned or traded at that time. Santos also told staffers he was willing to loan or donate outright $100,000 in personal funds to the campaign.[185]
  19. ^ The car was actually a Mercedes-Benz, which Santos made regular payments on through March 2023. He had claimed the loan to be joint liability, which the Ethics Committee could do not verify although it noted other car loans during the preceding years were exclusively in Santos’s name. “At no point does Representative Santos appear to have owned a Maserati, despite telling campaign staff otherwise”, the committee wrote. Reports that he also boasted of that vehicle regularly reaching speeds of 185 miles per hour (298 km/h) could not be confirmed.[190]
  20. ^ Santos’s lawyer told the committee that, again, Marks’s had gotten the dates and/or amounts of the loans incorrect. The committee did not accept this: “[It] was not supported by the evidence, and there was no explanation provided for how Ms. Marks could have reported the wrong numbers for loans that did not exist at the time they were reported.”[192]
  21. ^ The House Ethics Committee found that many of the reported expenses in the $190–200 range were overstated. It was unable to determine why the higher amounts were reported.[211]
  22. ^ The witness’s actions are consistent with those the Times has attributed to DeMauro.[196][252]
  23. ^ Santos’s lawyer submitted to the Ethics Committee a 1099 tax form reporting RedStone paid Santos $176,000 in nonemployee compensation during 2022.[253]
  24. ^ In December 2021, Talking Points Memo founder Josh Marshall took note of a Santos tweet (since deleted) about having to pay over $200 every week for three tankfuls of gas. Based on where Santos lived and worked, and assuming he bought the most expensive grade of fuel, drove a fuel-inefficient vehicle, and refilled only when near empty, Marshall calculated that if Santos was indeed spending that much on gas, he had to be driving over a thousand miles (1,600 km) a week. His commute to and from work (which Marshall estimated based on LinkBridge’s location since the minimal information he could find on the Devolder Organization — the family business Santos claimed employed him at the time — did not give an address) and assumed possible weekend trips to the Hamptons still, according to Marshall, left more than 700 miles unaccounted for. Marshall noted how poor this math was, given Santos’s stated background in finance.[257]
  25. ^ According to the House Ethics Committee, the lawyer for Santos’s campaign advised him to shut Rise down while he was seeking election, advice he disregarded.[258] Another witness the committee interviewed recalled having concerns about Santos’s involvement with Rise while a candidate and even the entity’s legality.[260]
  26. ^ Two weeks after Politico reported this allegation, the Brazilian newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported that Trelha was himself a fugitive from justice, believed to be hiding in France after having been charged by Brazilian prosecutors in 2022 with torture over a 2019 incident in which he is accused of beating his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son severely enough to fracture the boy’s skull and require hospitalization. Trelha is also reported to have misrepresented his past, claiming to have worked as a pilot when he in fact never finished the training course.[292][293]
  27. ^ The House Ethics Committee’s report, by contrast, cites former staffers and documentary evidence to show that Santos and Marks had a close personal and work relationship, to the point that the other staffers considered the campaign’s finances a “black box” accessible only to the two of them; he was involved enough, his later protestations to the contrary, that he would have been aware of any mistakes she made at the time she made them. Some staffers did bring issues with Marks’s competence to Santos’s attention. He told them that he would discuss them with her personally, but appeared to do little, if anything, to address the staffers’ concerns. He reportedly told some that Marks was “untouchable”.

    The committee also reviewed records from other campaigns Marks had served as treasurer and noted that they had a much lower rate of putative errors than Santos’s.[312]


  1. ^ Irwin, Lauren (March 22, 2024). “Santos says he’s leaving GOP, will run as independent in New York House race”. The Hill. Retrieved March 22, 2024.
  2. ^ Davis O’Brien, Rebecca; Gold, Michael (May 10, 2023). “Indictment”. The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 10, 2023. Retrieved May 10, 2023.
  3. ^ Chiusano 2023, p. 29.
  4. ^ Chiusano 2023, p. xxviii.
  5. ^ “SANTOS, George”. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Archived from the original on January 13, 2023. Retrieved January 15, 2023. SANTOS, George, a Representative from New York; born on July 22, 1988; unsuccessful candidate for election to the One Hundred Seventeenth Congress in 2020; elected as a Republican to the One Hundred Eighteenth Congress (January 3, 2023–present).
  6. ^ Chiusano 2023, p. 15.
  7. ^ a b c d Silverstein, Andrew (December 21, 2022). “Congressman-elect George Santos lied about grandparents fleeing anti-Jewish persecution during WWII”. The Forward. Archived from the original on December 21, 2022. Retrieved December 21, 2022.
  8. ^ Chiusano 2023, p. 30.
  9. ^ Silverstein, Andrew (January 18, 2023). “George Santos’ latest doozy: Records show his mom wasn’t in NYC on 9/11”. The Forward. Archived from the original on January 23, 2023. Retrieved January 23, 2023.
  10. ^ Batista Jr., João (January 19, 2023). “Uma cascada de lorotas”. piauí (in Brazilian Portuguese). Archived from the original on January 20, 2023. Retrieved January 20, 2023.
  11. ^ Chiusano 2023, p. 25.
  12. ^ Chiusano 2023, p. 21.
  13. ^ a b c d Stapleton, AnneClaire; Jones, Julia Vargas; Reverdosa, Marcia (January 4, 2023). “Rep.-elect George Santos admitted to using stolen checks in Brazil in 2008, documents show”. CNN. Archived from the original on January 4, 2023. Retrieved January 4, 2023.
  14. ^ Chiusano 2023, p. 23.
  15. ^ “Página 89 da V – Editais e demais publicações do Diário de Justiça do Rio de Janeiro (DJRJ) de 7 de Outubro de 2013” [Page 89 of V – Notices and other publications of the Rio de Janeiro Justice Gazette (RJJG) of October 7, 2013] (in Brazilian Portuguese). Diário de Justiça do Rio de Janeiro. October 7, 2013. Retrieved January 2, 2023 – via O MM. Juiz de Direito, Dr.(a) Ricardo Alberto Pereira – Juiz Titular do Cartório da 2ª Vara Criminal da Comarca de Niterói, Estado do Rio de Janeiro, FAZ SABER que o Promotor de Justiça Titular deste juízo, denunciou o nacional George Anthony Devolder Santos -Nacionalidade Americana – Profissão: Professor – Estado Civil: Solteiro – Data de Nascimento: 22/07/1988 Idade: 25 – Filiação: Pai -Gercino Antonio dos Santos Junior Mãe – Fatima Alzira Caruso Horta Devolder [The Honorable Judge Ricardo Alberto Pereira, Judge of the 2nd Criminal Court of the City of Niterói, State of Rio de Janeiro, DOES NOTICE that the Prosecutor General of this court, denounced the national George Anthony Devolder Santos – American Nationality – Profession: Teacher – Marital Status: Single – Date of Birth: 22/07/1988 Age: 25 – Parentage: Father -Gercino Antonio dos Santos Junior Mother – Fatima Alzira Caruso Horta Devolder ]
  16. ^ Chiusano 2023, p. 16–17.
  17. ^ Chiusano 2023, p. 11, 28–30.
  18. ^ Chiusano 2023, p. xxi.
  19. ^ Chiusano 2023, p. xvii.
  20. ^ Chiusano 2023, p. 21-22.
  21. ^ Chiusano 2023, p. 29, 31.
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y Ashford, Grace; Gold, Michael (December 19, 2022). “Who Is Rep.-Elect George Santos? His Résumé May Be Largely Fiction”. The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 22, 2022. Retrieved December 19, 2022.
  23. ^ “Filho de brasileiros anuncia candidatura a Deputado em NY” [Son of Brazilians announces candidacy for NY Congressman]. Brazilian Times (in Brazilian Portuguese). December 2, 2019. Archived from the original on January 6, 2023. Retrieved January 6, 2023.
  24. ^ “George Santos Faces New Questions About Campaign Loans”. CNN Tonight. January 25, 2023. Archived from the original on February 10, 2023. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  25. ^ Dias, Isabella (January 26, 2023). “Lies Have Short Legs”: Inside the Brazilian WhatsApp Group Exposing George Santos”. Mother Jones. Archived from the original on January 26, 2023. Retrieved January 26, 2023.
  26. ^ a b c d e f McCoy, Terence; Dias, Marina (August 31, 2023). “For George Santos, a life in Brazil at odds with his GOP politics”. The Washington Post. Archived from the original on August 31, 2023. Retrieved August 31, 2023.
  27. ^ Chiusano 2023, p. 42.
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  29. ^ Ibrahim, Nur (January 19, 2023). “Was Rep. George Santos a Drag Queen in Brazil?”. Snopes. Archived from the original on January 20, 2023. Retrieved January 21, 2023.
  30. ^ Lavietes, Matt; Leal, Isabela; Santaliz, Kate; Sonnier, Olympia (January 20, 2023). “Rep. George Santos denies ever having been a drag queen”. NBC News. Archived from the original on January 20, 2023. Retrieved January 21, 2023.
  31. ^ “Defensor de pautas anti-LGBTQIA+, deputado republicano filho de brasileiros já foi drag queen no Brasil”. Fantástico (in Brazilian Portuguese). January 22, 2023. Archived from the original on January 23, 2023. Retrieved January 24, 2023.
  32. ^ “Vídeo inédito mostra George Santos de drag queen durante parada gay de Niterói, em 2007”. Fantástico (in Brazilian Portuguese). January 23, 2023. Archived from the original on January 23, 2023. Retrieved January 24, 2023.
  33. ^ Cadelago, Christopher (January 20, 2023). “George Santos appears to admit drag queen past in Wiki post”. Politico. Archived from the original on January 21, 2023. Retrieved January 21, 2023.
  34. ^ a b Mack, David (January 20, 2023). “It Appears George Santos Also Lied About Appearing On ‘Hannah Montana’. Buzzfeed News. Archived from the original on January 21, 2023. Retrieved January 21, 2023.
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  37. ^ Chiusano 2023, p. 43-44.
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  39. ^ Chiusano 2023, pp. 6–9.
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Works cited

Further reading

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York’s 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by

Tom Suozzi
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by

as former U.S. Representative

Order of precedence of the United States
as former U.S. Representative
Succeeded by

as former U.S. Representative