A former fundraiser for US Representative George Santos was charged in a federal case with wire fraud and identity theft for allegedly impersonating an aide to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
(Bloomberg) — A former fundraiser for US Representative George Santos was charged in a federal case with wire fraud and identity theft for allegedly impersonating an aide to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York, who are already prosecuting Santos for fraud, alleged that the fundraiser, Samuel Miele, sent out emails seeking campaign contributions claiming to be a “high ranking aide to a member of the House with leadership responsibilities.”
Read the indictment here
A filing Wednesday didn’t identify who the House member was, but a person familiar with the matter said it was McCarthy.
The new indictment is the latest twist in the federal case against the New York lawmaker. Santos is facing fraud and money-laundering charges following a five-month investigation that began shortly after his election in November. Prosecutors claim he solicited funds from donors for his campaign and used them instead for personal expenses including designer clothing, deploying a shell company that effectively operated as an illegal super-PAC.
Miele was charged by the US with four counts of wire fraud and one of aggravated identity theft. He pleaded not guilty and was released on a $150,000 bond.
“Mr. Miele is not guilty of these charges,” his lawyer Kevin Marino said in a statement. “He looks forward to complete vindication at trial as soon as possible.”
Miele’s case was unsealed Wednesday. His lawyer, Kevin Marino, and Joseph Murray, a lawyer for Santos, didn’t immediately return requests for comment on the new case.
The US claims Miele engaged in a wire fraud scheme between August and December 2021 in which he solicited financial contributions “to support the campaign and enriching himself through commissions earned on these financial contributions.”
In a September 2022 letter, Miele even admitted to “faking my identity to a big donor,” stating he was “high risk, high reward in everything I do,” according to the US.
Read More: Santos Pleads Not Guilty to Fraud, Defies Calls to Resign
The cases are US v. Samuel Miele, 23-cr-327, and US v. Santos, 23-cr-197, US District Court, Eastern District of New York.
(Adds lawyer’s comment in sixth paragraph.)
More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.