In a recent development, New York Representative George Santos (R) has been charged by federal prosecutors in connection to a series of alleged false statements and fabrications, according to a CNN report.
Rep. Santos was taken into custody on Wednesday, following a federal indictment on 13 charges.
The charges allege that he provided false information to donors and misrepresented his financial situation to both government agencies and the public.
Santos is currently being held at the federal courthouse located on Long Island, as confirmed by a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.
He is expected to be arraigned around 1 p.m.
Three sources familiar with the case have confirmed the charges against the Republican congressman, whose pattern of deception has shocked even seasoned political observers.
Asked about the charges early on Tuesday, Santos said, “This is news to me,” The Associated Press (AP) reports. “You’re the first to call me about this.”
The specific nature of the charges remains unknown at this time, but both the FBI and the Justice Department public integrity prosecutors in New York and Washington have been looking into allegations surrounding Santos’ campaign finance filings and other claims.
Elected to represent a district that encompasses parts of Long Island and Queens last year, the freshman congressman has been the subject of investigations in multiple jurisdictions as well as by the House Ethics Committee.
In documents submitted to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Santos initially reported that he had provided loans exceeding $750,000 to his campaign and associated political action committees, AP notes.
He claimed that the funds originated from a family-owned business.
However, the financial capacity to offer such loans appears to have materialized suddenly.
In a 2020 financial disclosure statement filed with the U.S. House clerk, Santos reported having no assets and an annual income of merely $55,000.