US Rep. George Santos gained a reputation as a modern Pinocchio after he was caught create his background about everything from working for Goldman Sachs and producing a Broadway musical Spider-Man: Extinguish the Darkness of being a person of Jewish heritage. Now, a new lie has come to light: The US Department of Justice has accused Santos of collecting COVID benefits while working a six-figure job.
Shortly after the Republican was elected to Congress in November 2022, THE New York Times Revelation large holes in Santos’ résumé as well as missing information in his financial documents and a “criminal case of check fraud.” His misrepresentations only continue to be exposed from there, It came before an indictment on Wednesday in which prosecutors charged him with 13 criminal counts, including money laundering and unemployment fraud.
Santos applied for unemployment benefits in March 2020 from the New York State Department of Labor, according to court documents, which continued to certify his eligibility from June of that year to April 2021. investment company (the New York Times recognized the company as Harbor City Capitalwhere the SEC later accused to run “a classic Ponzi scheme”).
It’s all a bit ironic: Santos made thousands committing the fraud he sought to stop.
He is one of the 35 co-sponsors for the Protection of Taxpayers and Victims of Unemployment Fraud Act, designed to protect local governments against anyone who fraudulently filed for unemployment during the early pandemic. The law allows states to proceed 25% of fraudulent benefit overpayment they withdrew and extended the statute of limitations for forcing cases to 10 years.
Enforcing tougher requirements for federal aid has been a big part of the Republican party’s platform for the past few years. When the pandemic first hit, the unemployment rate in the US is the highest since the Great Depression. Many Americans are filing for unemployment and receiving stimulus packages as part of the The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Actwhich allocates nearly $250 billion in unemployment benefits to large numbers of the unemployed.
While the aid allows households to build a unmatched amount of wealth and helped stimulate economic activity, most Republicans criticized the relief, arguing that it helped fuel inflation and that people are taking advantage of it. Early research from the US Government Accountability Office found that more than $60 billion went to fraudulent unemployment insurance payments. In an attempt to suppress these benefits, they pushed for unemployment fraud — with Santos largely supporting such measures.
Now, the pot is calling the kettle black. Santos has pleaded not guilty to all 13 federal charges, which were taken by Twitter to tweet “WITCH HUNT!”