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George Santos former campaign treasurer pleads guilty to campaign finance fraud

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Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., wearing a no shutdown button walks up the House steps for a vote in the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 28, 2023.

Bill Clark | Cq-roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

The former campaign treasurer to Rep. George Santos of New York pleaded guilty Thursday to numerous campaign finance felonies related to her work for the Republican congressman, who is also charged with fraud.

The former treasurer, Nancy Marks, admitted guilt on charges of conspiring with a congressional candidate to commit wire fraud, making materially false statements, obstructing the administration of the Federal Election Commission, and committing aggravated identity theft.

Marks, 58, was released on a $100,000 bond following her appearance in U.S. District Court in Long Island on Thursday afternoon.

Marks during the 2022 election cycle submitted campaign finance reports that falsely said 10 family members of her and Santos contributed to his campaign, when none had actually done so, court documents showed.

Marks and Santos also falsely told the FEC that Santos loaned his campaign vast sums of money —including a single loan of $500,000 — when he in fact did not have the money to do so.

They perpetrated the scheme in order to qualify Santos’ campaign financial and logistical support from the Republican National Committee.

After the hearing, Marks’ attorney told reporters that Santos “mentally seduced and manipulated her.”

Santos was charged in May with a 13-count federal indictment in the same court accusing him of campaign finance fraud, money laundering and other crimes.

The freshman lawmaker has pleaded not guilty and vowed not to resign from Congress.

Santos’ attorney declined to comment.

In August, Samuel Miele, a former Santos fundraiser, was charged in the same federal court with impersonating a top aide to former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy while seeking campaign donations.

Miele’s attorneys are in negotiations with federal prosecutors about a possible plea deal.

Santos, who represents a district covering parts of Nassau County and Queens, has faced howls of bipartisan criticism and calls for his resignation even before he was sworn into Congress in January 2021.

Shortly after winning his election, which flipped his district from Democratic control, Santos was accused of lying about his business history and education.

Santos later admitted fabricating those details, though he denied other wrongdoing.

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The embattled congressman has since been caught up in a series of other scandals — including being accused of scamming a veteran out of funds raised to help his ailing dog — while questions about his campaign finances continued to mount.

Republican politicians in Long Island have repeatedly called on Santos to step down.

Democrats are targeting his congressional district as they seek to regain majority control of the House in 2024.

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