New York Republican Congressman George Santos has been indicted and arrested on 13 counts relating to alleged campaign finance fraud, false statements to Congress, and theft of public funds, with the indictment seeking to hold him accountable for his "brazen misrepresentations" and "fraudulent schemes."
The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that Santos surrendered to authorities and is scheduled to make a court appearance later in the day.
U.S. Attorney Breon Peace told the news outlet that the indictment targets Santos, who was first elected to Congress last November, for his numerous purported fraudulent activities and blatant misrepresentations.
According to Fox News, the freshman congressman faces 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.
Santos is accused of misleading donors by claiming that their contributions would be used for his campaign, only to allegedly spend the funds on designer clothes, personal credit card debt repayment, and other lavish, non-campaign-related expenses.
U.S. Attorney Peace said, "Taken together, the allegations in the indictment charge Santos with relying on repeated dishonesty and deception to ascend to the halls of Congress and enrich himself. He used political contributions to line his pockets, unlawfully 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."
Santos is expected to plead not guilty.