A former staff member of Republican New York Rep. George Santos was charged with wire fraud and identity theft in an unsealed federal indictment on Wednesday, The New York Times reported.
Samuel Miele, who previously worked as a staff aide to Santos, was indicted for allegedly impersonating a staff member of Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy in order to fraudulently raise funds for Santos’s 2022 congressional campaign, according to the NYT. Miele was arraigned in a New York federal court and released on a $150,000 bond after pleading not guilty to four counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.
Federal prosecutors accused Miele of sending “fraudulent fundraising” emails to political donors under the guise of a “high-ranking member of the House with leadership responsibilities,” according to the NYT. Once funds were successfully collected from donors, Miele would pocket a 15% commission.
Though the indictment does not address Santos by name or identify which member of the House Miele was impersonating, previous journalistic investigations from earlier this year found that Miele impersonated McCarthy’s chief of staff to seek out campaign donations, the NYT reported. Miele was reportedly fired from his role after Santos learned of his actions.
The same prosecutors who filed the case against Miele are the same ones prosecuting George Santos in a separate case of wire fraud, according to the NYT. The prosecutors told the court in a letter filed Wednesday that the two cases should be viewed as related during proceedings.
Santos was arrested and released on a $500,000 bond in May, after being charged with 13 counts of wire fraud, money laundering and making false statements to the House of Representatives. He is set to appear in court again on September 7, according to The Associated Press.
Santos did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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