Representative George Santos, a Republican from New York, during a joint meeting of Congress with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, US, on Thursday, April 27, 2023.
Nathan Howard | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., was charged by federal prosecutors with an array of crimes, including fraud, theft, money laundering and making false statements.
Santos was arrested Wednesday morning and is currently in custody, the Department of Justice said. His arraignment was set for Wednesday afternoon in federal court in Long Island, New York.
“This indictment seeks to hold Santos accountable for various alleged fraudulent schemes and brazen misrepresentations,” U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said in a press release.
“Taken together, the allegations in this indictment charge Santos with relying on repeated dishonesty and deception to ascend to the halls of Congress and enrich himself,” Peace said.
The 13-count indictment alleges Santos spent campaign funds on luxury clothing and car payments, fraudulently received more than $24,000 in unemployment benefits and reported false income and asset data on House disclosure forms.
A spokeswoman for Santos’ office referred CNBC to the congressman’s counsel, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The criminal charges follow a mountain of scandals that have weighed Santos down since before he was sworn into Congress in January. The freshman Republican weeks earlier announced his 2024 reelection campaign, rebuffing critics from both parties who had called for his resignation.
Santos faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for the top charges against him, according to the Justice Department.
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