Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) put himself in charge of his current campaign’s purse strings this week despite his recent federal indictment over alleged financial crimes related to his last campaign.
Santos, 34, listed himself as treasurer on documents filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on Friday. He replaced a man named Andrew Olson, a mystery figure whose address was listed as the same apartment building where Santos’ sister was accused of owing $40,000 in unpaid rent.
Santos said in a statement that Olson had resigned and that he already found a new treasurer not named George Santos, but that he would reveal that person’s name at a later date.
After his election in November, the freshman congressman instantly made a name for himself as an accomplished liar, having misrepresented key information about his employment record, educational record and personal background.
He turned himself in to authorities at a Long Island courthouse on May 10 and pleaded not guilty. The 13 counts against him include wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds and lying to the U.S. House.
He has refused to resign and maintains that he will run for reelection in 2024.
Prosecutors say that Santos used $25,000 in campaign funds on luxury items for himself in 2022 and that he took $24,000 in emergency pandemic unemployment benefits from New York state while earning a six-figure salary in Florida. He also allegedly misrepresented his personal assets on House paperwork by millions of dollars.
Still, Santos defended his decision to helm his campaign’s finances.
“On Friday, May 19, I was properly notified by my campaign’s then Treasurer, Mr. Andrew Olson, of his resignation. I appreciate the work Andrew and his team have done for the campaign and appreciate his willingness to ensure a smooth transition,” Santos wrote.
“To ensure compliance, upon the resignation, I was named as Treasurer. A treasurer must be appointed within ten (10) days of the resignation of the previous treasurer,” he continued, citing campaign finance law.
“My intent is to operate above reproach,” Santos said. “We will continue to build our campaign around professionals with subject matter expertise. I have retained the professional services of a new Treasurer to ensure the campaign moves forward in compliance. FEC records will reflect the update.”