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From nothing to millions — incoming Republican Rep. George Santos' congressional financial disclosures raise more questions about his truthfulness

Rep. George Santos
Rep.-elect George Santos, a Republican from New York, speaks at an annual leadership meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition on November 19, 2022, in Las Vegas.John Locher/AP Photo
  • In his first run for Congress two years ago, Republican George Santos disclosed having almost no assets.

  • In 2022, Santos — elected to Congress in November — reported millions of dollars in asserts, including a massive income and pricey apartment in Brazil.

  • A new New York Times report revealed several inaccuracies in Santos' reported resume.

During his initial, failed bid for Congress in 2020, Republican George Santos of New York signed a certified congressional document attesting to having almost no financial assets and an average income.

But this year, Santos — now poised to enter Congress after winning the election in November — represented his finances in a profoundly different fashion.

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Santos on September 6 disclosed to the US House of Representatives that he owned an apartment in Brazil worth up to $1 million. His savings account, he said, is filled with up to $5 million and his checking account with up to $250,000.

 

And perhaps most notably, Santos reported being the sole owner of the Devolder Organization, a consulting company he said was worth up to $5 million and earned him up to $5 million in dividends in addition to a $750,000 salary.

In both his 2020 and 2022 financial disclosures, Santos affirmed that statements he made about his finances "are true, complete, and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief."

But taken at face value, the documents also appear to indicate that Santos, who is now under significant public scrutiny for misrepresenting significant elements of his personal resume and history, either experienced a rapid and unexplained increase in his personal wealth, or he incorrectly disclosed details about his personal finances — a potential violation of federal conflicts-of-interest law.

Santos incorporated the Devolder Organization in May with the assistance of a former accountant from Harbor City Capital, a business Santos' spent time at as a regional director, according to The Daily Beast. The Securities and Exchange Commission accused Harbor City Capital of running as a Ponzi Scheme — Santos was not named in the SEC's lawsuit.

The Devolder Organization, in which Santos disclosed that he had "100% interest," was one of six stakeholders in a Florida-based firm, Red Strategies USA.

Red Strategies USA didn't last long. The firm dissolved in September, though did work with Republican congressional candidate Tina Forte, who challenged Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in November but failed to unseat her.

Santos will become the next representative of New York's 3rd Congressional District on January 3, after he bested Democrat Robert Zimmerman in an open seat left by outgoing Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi, who lost his bid for New York governor.

In his campaign for office, Santos received endorsements from high-ranking Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Lee Zeldin, and the New York Post, among others.

Santos' past in question

A newly released report by the New York Times and other publications put other aspects of Santos' resume into question.

A biography of Santos on the National Republican Congressional Committee's website indicates he studied at Baruch College and New York University, but representatives from both schools were unable to locate any students with his name and date of birth, according to the New York Times.

The New York Times also indicated that Santos may have lied about losing colleagues in the Pulse nightclub shooting and his residence.

Santos, as Axios and the New York Times reported, also previously touted on his campaign site that he ran a nonprofit animal rescue charity for five years, Friends of Pets United. Neither publication nor Insider could find evidence of the charity via IRS filings.

Santos did not respond to Insider's request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider