The party that brought US accused Donald Trump also brought George Anthony Devolder Santos, now charged by the DOJ, to the US.
East Santos accused to open a front company and deposit money that was given under the promise that it would be used to help him get elected, then transfer that money to transfer/launder it to his personal accounts and use it for personal purchases, cash, to pay off personal debts, and more.
Rep. Santos’ charging documents tell the story of his candidacy as get rich quick noted by New York Times reporter Nick Confessore, who wrote above the next passage quoted“Santos’ indictment suggests his candidacy for Congress was, among other things, some kind of get-rich-quick scheme.”
Fraudulent scheme for soliciting political contributions
As of September 2022, during his successful campaign for Congress, Santos operated a limited liability company (Company #1) through which he allegedly defrauded potential political supporters. Santos hired a Queens-based political consultant (person #1) to communicate with potential donors on Santos’ behalf. Santos allegedly ordered the No. 1 person to falsely tell donors that, among other things, their money would be used to help elect Santos to the House, including buying TV ads. Based on these misrepresentations, two contributors (Contributor #1 and Contributor #2) each transferred $25,000 to the bank account of Company #1, which Santos controlled.
As alleged in the indictment, shortly after the funds were received in Company #1’s bank account, the money was transferred to Santos’ personal bank accounts – in one case, laundered through two of Santos’ personal accounts. Santos allegedly then used much of that money for personal expenses. Among other things, Santos allegedly used the funds to make personal purchases (including designer clothes), withdraw cash, settle personal debts, and transfer money to associates.
Santos’ behavior has been shockingly brazen – even for a member of the Republican Party, who has come out as pro-corruption under Donald Trump. The comments made by law enforcement about his indictment read like an exhalation of noxious fumes.
“This indictment seeks to hold Santos accountable for various alleged fraudulent schemes and brazen misrepresentations,” U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement. “Taken together, the allegations in the indictment accuse Santos of relying on repeated dishonesty and deceit to ascend the halls of Congress and enrich himself. He used political contributions to line his own pockets, illegally 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.
Yes, that’s right, Santos illegally applied for unemployment benefits during the pandemic. But to be fair, cheating the government out of unemployment and then getting paid by the taxpayers to do a job you don’t really do after arriving through a get-rich-quick scheme seems like a natural progression that he could have learned by watching Donald Trump run for president in 2015.
It wouldn’t be surprising if Santos’ legal defense matched that of many of the Jan. 6 defendants: “But Trump.
Yes indeed. But Trump. It is difficult to keep a straight face on the law and order party as its leaders and members seem to repeatedly break the law.
District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly said, “As set forth in the indictment, the defendant’s alleged conduct continued into his second run for Congress when he pocketed campaign contributions and used that money to pay off personal debts and buy designer clothes.”
If there was any confusion over who Santos was modeling on, he clarified that after appearing in court on Wednesday, call the indictment “a witch hunt”.
“I will fight my battle. I will deliver. I will fight the witch hunt. I’ll take care of clearing my name, and I can’t wait to do it.
It may seem to Santos that he is in so little trouble considering what the Trump family got off of Donald Trump’s inaugural scam all the way to $2 billion from a fund headed by the crown prince Saudi just 6 months after finally (unwittingly, on Trump’s part) leaving the White House. But the alleged Santos scam was committed without the costly legal protection of elites who commit white-collar crimes.
Santos is accused of repeatedly breaking the law and he left such an obvious mark it’s almost as if he wanted to get caught.
Santos was in custody Wednesday morning after being charged with 13 federal charges, including money laundering, wire fraud and making false statements to the House.
As Jason Easley noted earlier, Santos will be kept in the US House of “Representatives” even though he has been indicted by the DOJ. For what? Because Chairman Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) can’t afford to lose any of his wafer-thin majority, and so once again the Republican Party has made the cynical calculation that power is more important than ethics , the law, their image, and any high moral ground they might have dubiously claimed.
McCarthy could have avoided this embarrassment by getting rid of Santos in his early scandals, but McCarthy instead prioritized his own tenuous power through Santos.
Although there are dirty politicians in both parties, Republicans continue to get away with this kind of behavior without punishment from their constituents because Republicans have groomed their base not to believe the news and also to be proud to have no shame. This is Trump’s call: No shame. Do what you want. Hurt whoever you want. Just win.
Bumping the law during personal enrichment is practically a trademark of Trump at this point, but his blatant self-centeredness seems to have been taken as a challenge by other Republicans to get what they can while they can ( see also several conservative members of the United States Supreme Court).
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