The Scandals And Lies Of George Santos

The controversial Republican Candidate has only just taken office but is mired in an ever-increasing web of lies but just what has he been saying?

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It’s not just UK politics that get involved in scandal, our friends across the pond get involved in their fair share as well.

The latest candidate to stir the post is George Santos, or at least that’s the name he’s currently going by (more on that later).

So who is he and what is he accused of doing? Well, that’s a bit of a difficult question as it seems to depend on who you ask and even Santos himself seems to have difficulty keeping up with his own narrative.

Santos was elected to congress as the Republican representative for the 3rd Congressional District of New York after running unsuccessfully in 2020.

After his surprise election win media outlets began to look into Santos and they started to notice several inconsistencies in his work background and family life.

News outlets reported that he made false claims about his ancestry, education, employment history, property ownership, and more[1]Wikipedia: George Santos.

Which Name Is He Going By Today?

Many people were confused when they saw George Santos on their TV screens as a lot of people knew him as Anthony Devolder[2]Esquire: Behold the Full, Completely Real Resumé of George Santos, in fact Santos himself can’t even seem to keep his own name straight

Then there’s the curious case of Kitara Ravache, Santos’ alleged drag personality – although he refuses to admit he was a drag artist as was just having a “fun at a festival”.

Seems to be a lot of fun if you ask me, George. I mean Anthony. I mean Kitara… I can’t keep up.

Santos’ “Mixed” Heritage

Santos’ parents are both Brazilian, as are his maternal grandparents. His parents seem to have moved to the United States in the mid 1980s and Santos claims to have dual Brazilian/US citizenship through his parents.

Santos has claimed in the past that he is a “proud American Jew” whose grandparents “fled anti-Semitism in Europe” despite the fact his only European ties are through a great-grandparent who moved to Brazil from Belgium in 1884[3]BBC News: Who is George Santos and why is he in trouble?.

Santos then acknowledged he had misrepresented his faith saying that he was Catholic but considered himself to be “Jew-ish” rather than Jewish thanks to a maternal Grandparent’s links to Judaism[4]MSNBC: George Santos’ false claim of being Jewish tells us a lot about American politics.

Brazilian Fraud Claims

Santos moved to Brazil to be with his mother in 2008 and it was at this time he was charged with committing cheque fraud, failing to appear in court in 2011.

It is alleged that the 19-year-old Santos used a chequebook stolen from someone his mother used to work for to fraudulently purchase nearly $700 worth of goods in a clothing store. He admitted to the crime but he had moved back to the US before he could be taken to court[5]Newsweek: George Santos Faces up to Five Years in Prison if Convicted of Fraud.

Brazilian authorities dropped the case as they didn’t know his location but reopened the investigation after Santos came to media prominence and even if he doesn’t return to Brazil he can be tried in his absence and could face up to 5 years in prison.

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CV Embellishments

On Santos’ CV he has claimed to have degrees from Baruch College and New York University in New York City but representative from both establishments said they had no record of Santos graduating[6]USA Today: George Santos admits to lying about his education. How easy is it to lie on your resume?. Santos later came clean and revealed he hadn’t earned any degrees from any college.

Santos also claimed that he worked for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup but neither company could verify his employment and it’s alleged during the period Santos claimed to be working for Citigroup he was actually working in a call centre for satellite TV provider Dish[7]People: Fact-Checking the George Santos Claims: From Goldman Sachs Employee to College ‘Volleyball Star’

His Mother’s Death

Despite his mother moving to America in 1985 as a migrant worker picking beans, moving to New York as a housekeeper, cook and Nanny and then moving back to Brazil[8]Wikipedia:George Santos sometime in or before 1999[9]Washington Post: Records show Rep. George Santos’s mother wasn’t in New York on 9/11, Santos claimed that his mother worked in the South Tower of the World Trade Centre and was present on September 11th 2001.

He claimed she survived the terrorist attack only to die years later from cancer caused by the toxic dust she inhaled.

While it was confirmed by some sources she had passed away from cancer in 2013, this was not due to inhaling toxic dust from Ground Zero.

Property Ownership

Santos has claimed in a tweet to own 13 properties (and apparently not being paid rent on them – more on that in a moment)

A tweet from George Santos claiming he owns 13 homes and has not received rent from any of them

Original Tweet Source

However he admitted he didn’t own any properties, didn’t list them on his campaign filings and was apparently living in a apartment in Queens with his sister (not a mansion in Oyster Bay Cove[10]Washington Post: A tiny paper broke the George Santos scandal but no one paid attention) and left the place in disarray when they moved out[11]Independent: George Santos’ former landlord claims rep-elect left Queens apartment with a “lot of damage”.

It would also appear that Santos, at one point, has other people staying with him in Queens with former friend Yasser Rabello Staying with Santos and his sister and paying $500 a month rent[12]Fox5: Rep. George Santos’ former friends accuse him of more lies, theft.

“He never told me that he was into politics, but I always knew that he was always into being famous,” Rabello said.

Alleged Victim Of Crimes

So while Santos was complaining about his alleged tennants not paying him rent, it would appear that Santos may have been doing the same to his own landlords. There have been several judgements against him regarding eviction and personal debt which he has apparently failed to pay[13]Wikipedia:George Santos.

At one point Santos claimed that he was robbed of his rent money while taking it to his Landlord but there is no police record of this[14]Independent: George Santos claimed he was robbed of his rent money. NYPD doesn’t have a record even though he made a sworn statement stating this as fact to a housing court during an eviction case in 2016.

He also claimed that was a victim of attempted murder, placed under police protection and had his shoes stolen on 5th Avenue.

Okay George.

Charity Begins At Home – And Stays There

A veteran has recently come forward claiming that Santos (or Anthony Devolder as he was back then if you’re able to keep up) offered to help raise $3,000 for a life-saving operation for his service dog, Sapphire.

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When Sapphire began to get ill in 2016 her owner, Rich Osthoff, was told that she would need life-saving treatment. Osthoff was unhoused and living in a tent at the time and couldn’t afford the surgery so one of the nurses at the veterinary practice suggested he get in touch with Devolder who ran an animal charity[15]CNN: George Santos took $3,000 from dying dog’s GoFundMe, veterans say .

The money was raised but according to Osthoff, Devolder (Santos) became difficult to get hold of, said that Osthoff had to use a specific vets of Devolder’s choosing, made Osthoff jump through hoops and then failed to produce the money raised.

Sapphire passed away around 6 months after Osthoff’s last contact with Devolder.

Santos own campaign bio claimed he had run a foundation called “Friends of Pets” and had saved 2,500 dogs and cats over a 5 year period from 2013 to 2018 but the IRS has no registered charity going by that name[16]People: Fact-Checking the George Santos Claims: From Goldman Sachs Employee to College ‘Volleyball Star’.

Questionable Campaign Finances

When several news outlets started looking into Santos some serious questions arose surrounding his campaign finances.

There was an odd payment of $11,000 made to a cleaning company and yet it was noted down as “apartment rental for staff”[17]BBC News: Who is George Santos and why is he in trouble?.

There were also multiple payments of $199.99 which is 1 cent lower than federal law requires receipts for. One of $199.99 the expenses was listed as “hotel stay” in a hotel in South Beach, Florida but the cheapest room costs around $700 dollars[18]CNN: What to know about George Santos and his campaign finance issues as questions grow .

Somehow Santos spent $40,000 on airfare despite running a local, not national campaign so where and why was he flying?

In some filings they failed to show that two six-figure loans came from Santos’ personal funds[19]CNN: What to know about George Santos and his campaign finance issues as questions grow but considering Santos’ personal filings were in disarray given the non-payment of outstanding judgements against him one has to question how he was able to make such large loans to his own campaign from personal funds, and people are now questioning if this is the case at all[20]AP News: Questions persist on source of George Santos campaign funds.

More than a dozen large contributors to Santos’ campaign could not be found anywhere in the U.S or not living at addresses supplied[21]Huffington Post: Several Of George Santos Campaign Contributors Don’t Appear To Exist: Report during his 2020 campaign run.

And if all of this wasn’t shady enough, we have the strange case of Santos’ appointment of a new campaign treasurer.

A campaign treasurer is responsible for filing disclosure reports with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), the governing body who ensure that campaign finance laws are followed.

Sometime last week Santos filed paperwork showing that he had appointed a new campaign treasurer, Wisconsin-based political advisor Thomas Datwyler. The problem? Datwyler had turned down the position but the campaign filed the paperwork allegedly signed by Datwyler with the FEC anyway[22]CNN: What to know about George Santos and his campaign finance issues as questions grow .

This is a big issue for Santos – not only could have he filed false, misleading or improper paperwork with the FEC, reports detailing campaign spending towards the end of 2022 needed to be filed with the FEC by Tuesday 31st January 2023 and without a verified treasurer this is going to be difficult for him to comply with.

Is this a delaying tactic on Santos part? Was he hoping to add a name and then have someone else file the paperwork under Datwyler’s name? Whatever the case it doesn’t look good for Santos and his team and is yet another addition to the string of lies, falsehoods and misrepresentations that have been outlined above.

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What’s Next For Santos?

It seems that there are no end to Santos’ lies and more are being uncovered each day. From having a Volleyball scholarship to a university he never attended, a mysteriously missing marriage or lying about where he went to high school[23]Intelligencer: Here’’s Every Single Lie Told by George Santos, it’s surprising that Santos has weathered the storm this long, even the (eventual) Speaker of The House has backed the embattled Representative.

However it would appear that the big guns are getting involved.

The Justice Department (DOJ) have asked the FEC to hold off on any enforcement or sanctions against Santos while they conduct a criminal probe into the politician[24]Washington Post: Justice Department asks FEC to stand down as prosecutors probe Santos.

The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) are also looking into a company linked to Santos – Harbour City Capital – an investment firm that was forced to shut in 2021. The SEC accused it of operating as a “classic Ponzi scheme”[25]Washington Post: Justice Department asks FEC to stand down as prosecutors probe Santos. Santos has been linked to soliciting investments in the firm as late as 2020.

So with 3 investigations looming large – the DOJ, FEC and SEC – Santos will face even more intense scrutiny and possible severe legal repercussions if he is found to have committed wrong doing.

Perhaps he should have stayed in Brazil and remained as Kitara Ravache?

References

References
1 Wikipedia: George Santos
2 Esquire: Behold the Full, Completely Real Resumé of George Santos
3, 17 BBC News: Who is George Santos and why is he in trouble?
4 MSNBC: George Santos’ false claim of being Jewish tells us a lot about American politics
5 Newsweek: George Santos Faces up to Five Years in Prison if Convicted of Fraud
6 USA Today: George Santos admits to lying about his education. How easy is it to lie on your resume?
7, 16 People: Fact-Checking the George Santos Claims: From Goldman Sachs Employee to College ‘Volleyball Star’
8, 13 Wikipedia:George Santos
9 Washington Post: Records show Rep. George Santos’s mother wasn’t in New York on 9/11
10 Washington Post: A tiny paper broke the George Santos scandal but no one paid attention
11 Independent: George Santos’ former landlord claims rep-elect left Queens apartment with a “lot of damage”
12 Fox5: Rep. George Santos’ former friends accuse him of more lies, theft
14 Independent: George Santos claimed he was robbed of his rent money. NYPD doesn’t have a record
15 CNN: George Santos took $3,000 from dying dog’s GoFundMe, veterans say
18, 22 CNN: What to know about George Santos and his campaign finance issues as questions grow
19 CNN: What to know about George Santos and his campaign finance issues as questions grow
20 AP News: Questions persist on source of George Santos campaign funds
21 Huffington Post: Several Of George Santos Campaign Contributors Don’t Appear To Exist: Report
23 Intelligencer: Here’’s Every Single Lie Told by George Santos
24, 25 Washington Post: Justice Department asks FEC to stand down as prosecutors probe Santos

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