George Santos arrested in New York after surrendering himself to authorities
George Santos has been arrested after surrendering himself to authorities at a federal court on Long Island on Wednesday morning.
The congressman for New York’s third district, who won his election after a campaign that was littered with lies about his past, 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 the House of Representatives.
The charges represent a rapid rise and fall for a man his own constituents decried as an “imposter.”
Mr Santos was elected to represent New York’s 3rd Congressional District in November 2022, defeating Democrat Robert Zimmerman by a margin of 54 per cent to 46 per cent. Soon after that victory, it emerged that Mr Santos had lied about much of his personal history and work experience.
A New York Times investigation found that he had lied about working for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, lied about the college he attended, fabricated an animal charity, that the company from which he had earned a salary of $750,000 and dividends of $1m did not have any online presence, lied about saying he lost four employees in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, in 2016, and that he faced criminal charges in Brazil for cheque fraud.
A local pressure group started by local citizens was formed with the aim of forcing Mr Santos from office. They held regular protests outside his campaign office and called on Republican leaders to expel him from Congress, But Republican House majority leader Kevin McCarthy, the person with the power to call the vote, refused to do so, instead leaving his fate to the House Ethics Committee.
Since Mr Santos was sworn into office in January, revelations about his past have continued to emerge. The most recent report found that Mr Santos was charged with writing bad checks to purchase puppies from Amish farmers in 2017.
Mr Santos, 34, has apologised for what he described as “résumé embellishment,” but has refused to resign.