This article first appeared online at on Wednesday, May 10, 2023:  

The crimes of George Santos, the Republican who represents New York's 3rd Congressional District, have been so vast, so public, and so damaging to so many people for so many years, that the Chuck Schumer-recommended (and Biden-nominated) Judge Breon Peace was forced to sort through them and decide which ones to charge him with.

He came up with 13: seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of of public funds, and two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives.

Peace waxed eloquent over his indictment of Santos:

This indictment seeks to hold Santos accountable for various alleged fraudulent and brazen misrepresentations. 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.

And these are the results of just one of the many investigations into Santos that are ongoing. In addition to the one through Peace's office in New York, there are those being conducted by the FBI, local and state authorities, and law enforcement in Brazil (where Santos is charged with check fraud but skipped town before he could face those charges).

There's also a very belated and reluctant investigation by the House Ethics Committee, which in March announced its own inquiry into Santos' sordid and provable background of fraud.

Knowledge of Santos' propensity for lying to deceive goes back to 2019, when an intrepid reporter for Time , Mark Chiusano, first decided to do his own investigation. However, it wasn't until September 2022, just two months before the , that The North Shore Leader (but not Time), a weekly with readers in Santos' district, started raising questions about Santos and his long history of lies and .

At the time, the editorial staff at the weekly said, “This would like to endorse a Republican for US Congress in NY3. But the GOP nominee – George Santos – is so bizarre, unprincipled and sketchy that we cannot.”

Only after Santos was elected did the trusty and true New York Times even bother to take a look. What the “paper of record” found in their investigation led to another article in The North Shore Leader: “The Leader Told You So: US Rep-Elect George Santos is a Fraud – and Wanted Criminal.”

When Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy was informed of Santos' vast litany of misdeeds and criminal actions, he demurred. Because of the Republican Party's slim majority after the election, he needed Santos' vote in order to have any chance to pass legislation. The New York Post reported that a senior House Republican aide had told them that McCarthy and other party leaders were aware of Santos' false biographical claims even before the election, but the Ethics Committee waited until March this year to finally make its move.

That committee would do well to hold off doing any investigative work until its members read Chiusano's soon-to-be published book on Santos: The Fabulist: The Lying, Hustling, Grifting, Stealing, and Very American Legend of George Santos.

Santos' misdeeds fill pages and pages of the usually-forgiving Wikipedia news aggregator. They include:

  1. Enjoying the life of a drag queen (a homosexual transvestite) in Brazil;
  2. Hastily leaving Brazil while a check-fraud case against him was pending;
  3. Working for a Ponzi scheme called Harbor City Capital that cost “investors” an estimated $17 million;
  4. Creating something called the Devolder Organization (Santos' full name is George Anthony Devolder Santos), which he claimed managed some $80 million for investors. Dun & Bradstreet, on the other hand, estimated the company's total annual revenue at less than $50,000;
  5. Working at a call center for the Dish Network, but managing somehow to loan his campaign more than $700,000 from “personal funds”;
  6. Claiming that while working at the call center he also worked for Citigroup and as an asset manager, though neither company has any record of him doing so;
  7. According to Mother Jones reporters in January this year, many contributions to Santos' election campaign were made by fictitious donors, while others who did donate claimed the amounts they actually gave were far less than those his campaign reported;
  8. The many judgments against Santos over unpaid rents, and a long history of him being evicted over their nonpayment; and so on…

Santos denies everything — except this: He admits that he did fudge a little on his resume to make his candidacy look better than it really was while running for New York's 3rd District.

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