Central ISLIP, NEW YORK—On Wednesday, May 10, U.S. Representative, George Anthony Devolder Santos, formerly of Queens, New York was taken into federal custody following the unsealing of a 13-count indictment. Congressman Santos’ charges include accusations of misleading donors and misrepresenting his finances to government agencies.

Joanna Seybert – EDNY Judge

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of New York, Congressman Santos was charged with 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 Congress. If convicted, Santos faces a maximum sentence of 20 years prison time.

On May 10, Rep. Santos was arrested. He pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. He was arraigned before Magistrate Judge Arlene R. Lindsay at the Long Island Federal Courthouse in Central Islip, New York, and released on a $500,000 bond.

Santos’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 30 with Judge Joanna Seybert presiding. Judge Seybert was nominated in 1993 by former President Bill Clinton.

Breon Peace, from the office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Kenneth A. Polite, Jr., Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and Anne T. Donnelly, District Attorney, Nassau County, announced the charges.

The following statement was made by U.S. Attorney Breon Peace:

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

New York Assistant Attorney General, Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division stated that, “The Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section is committed to rooting out fraud and corruption, especially when committed by our elected officials. As Alleged, Santos engaged in criminal conduct intended to deceive and defraud the American public. As this indictment reflects, the Department of Justice will hold accountable anyone who engages in such criminality…”