Rep. George Santos (R) was arrested this week and charged with 13 alleged crimes, according to federal law enforcement officials, including accusations of wire fraud and money laundering.
The Department of Justice released its indictments against the sitting member of Congress.
Santos was released on $500,000 bail.
He called the charges a “witch hunt.”
Santos said that the situation “makes no sense.”
“You have Joe Biden’s entire family receiving deposits from foreign destinations into their bank accounts and yet no investigation is launched into them,” he told the press.
According to the indictment, Santos owned a company called Devolder Organization LLC, which he allegedly used to contribute money to his company in the guise of political donations to his campaign.
The Justice Department said that Santos spent “thousands of dollars of the solicited funds on personal expenses, including luxury designer clothing and credit card payments.”
The indictment also accuses Santos of releasing false information regarding his company, including that it was a tax-exempt “social welfare organization.”
The federal government also accused Santos of defrauding a pandemic-era unemployment policy.
Federal law enforcement accuses Santos of “knowingly and intentionally” devising “a scheme and artifice to defraud” the New York State Department of Labor.
The Justice Department accuses Santos of receiving unemployment benefits for approximately 10 months, during which he was a regional director at an investment firm at a salary of about $120,000 annually. He allegedly received almost $25,000 in payments.
BREAKING: Rep. George Santos was arrested on federal criminal charges including wire fraud, money laundering and lying to Congress, the U.S. attorney's office says. The New York Republican became infamous for fabricating key parts of his life story. https://t.co/W9cYBcSti2
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 10, 2023
The representative is also accused of making false statements on his Financial Disclosure Statement, required to run for federal office. According to the Justice Department, Santos “falsely certified” his income.
Santos is being accused of 13 counts, including seven counts of wire fraud, three related to money laundering, one count of theft of public funds and two counts of false statements to the House of Representatives.
The New York Republican was first elected to Congress last year, in one of the most contested races during the 2022 midterms.
The political newcomer attracted significant attention, especially after taking office in January.