US Representative George Santos’s campaign treasurer pleaded guilty to charges that she conspired with the congressman to fraudulently obtain financial support for his campaign.
(Bloomberg) — US Representative George Santos’s campaign treasurer pleaded guilty to charges that she conspired with the congressman to fraudulently obtain financial support for his campaign.
Nancy Marks, 58, is the second person tied to the embattled Republican congressman from New York to face federal charges. Santos was indicted in May, accused of stealing public funds and lying on federal disclosure forms, among other allegations.
Marks, who served as the treasurer for Santos’s congressional campaign committee in 2022, admitted that she worked with him to submit false reports to the Federal Election Commission on behalf of his campaign.
Marks appeared before US District Judge Joanna Seybert in Central Islip, New York, Thursday afternoon where she pleaded guilty. She was released on $100,000 bond and faces as long as four years in prison when she is sentenced on April 12. Her lawyer, Ray Perini, didn’t immediately respond to a voicemail message seeking comment.
Marks was advised by the judge that if she cooperates with the government, her assistance would be taken into account at her sentencing if prosecutors write a letter about it, according to a court filing.
The first-term lawmaker, who is running for re-election next year, faces as many as 20 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charges of wire fraud and money laundering, according to the US. The case poses a problem for Republicans amid calls on both sides of the aisle for Santos to resign. He’s scheduled to return to court on Oct. 27.
Read More: Santos Prosecutors Say Talks on ‘Paths Forward’ Are Underway
The tightening net around Santos comes as his vote may be critical to elect a new House speaker after Tuesday’s abrupt ouster of Kevin McCarthy. With only 221 Republicans in the House, the party can’t afford to lose many votes in its effort to rally around a successor, in a process that could take several rounds of voting.
While Santos has pleaded not guilty, last month prosecutors said he and his lawyer were in plea talks and discussing “possible paths forward.”
Prosecutors said Marks and Santos reported at least 10 family members as “straw donors” to the FEC — along with a non-existent $500,000 loan from Santos to the campaign — in order to inflate his fundraising numbers.
Those fraudulent numbers, prosecutors said, allowed Santos to take advantage of a Republican party program that gave additional financial support to candidates that achieved fundraising targets.
The Republican National Congressional Committee didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Joseph Murray, Santos’s lawyer, also didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Meanwhile, Sam Miele, a former Santos fundraiser, was charged by the US in August, accused of wire fraud and identity theft for allegedly impersonating an aide to McCarthy.
Prosecutors allege Miele sent out emails seeking campaign contributions claiming to be a “high ranking aide to a member of the House with leadership responsibilities.”
The case is US v. Devolder Santos, 23-cr-0197, US District Court, Eastern District of New York (Central Islip).
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