Everything We Know About Congressman George Santos' Indictment And Arrest

New York congressman George Santos, who has gained quite the reputation thanks to his elaborate lies about his past, education, and even family background, has been arrested in Long Island, New York. The congressman surrendered himself into custody on Wednesday, May 10, after federal criminal charges filed against him were unsealed. Per The Guardian, U.S. Attorney Breon Peace made public remarks claiming that "the indictment seeks to hold Santos accountable for various alleged fraudulent schemes and brazen misrepresentations." 

While the tales of his time as a volleyball player in college may have been overlooked as innocent white lies, CNN reports that the charges in question consist of a "13-count indictment, including 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." According to CNN, Santos' lawyers are declining to comment about the charges at the time of publication. 

Santos had previously stepped down from many of his House of Representatives committee assignments after he was put in the hot seat over his many elaborate lies. But merely one month prior to the arrest, he had announced his 2024 reelection campaign, facing backlash from political officials on both sides of the aisle who have called for Santos to resign. 

George Santos has a long history of fabrication

Congressman George Santos was elected to the House of Representatives only one year ago, frequently referring to his campaign a "common sense" platform. In one interview with the New York Post, Santos was quoted as saying, "I kept my message true to the people." He was celebrated as the first openly gay republican to be voted into a congressional office, but the praise for his achievements quickly died down as the legitimacy of some of his claims were put into question. 

Santos has been caught in many lies leading up to his Wednesday arrest. While at a fundraising event with many pro-Israel activists, he claimed he was of Jewish descent. According to Jewish Insider, the congressman called himself "halachically Jewish," which was proven false. The New York Times reported that this was not the only count of his false statements, as he was found guilty of lying about being a Wall Street investor, being a graduate of Baruch College, and has no record of a "family fortune in real estate" he has claimed to benefit from. 

While a politician telling lies is nothing out of the ordinary, Santos may have taken his fabrications too far. Per the indictment statement reported on by The Guardian, Santos falsified unemployment records and collected unemployment money during the pandemic up until April 2021, while he was, in fact, employed. These details lay out only one of the many charges against Santos, who is scheduled to appear in court and respond to these allegations later today.