When or when will this fraudulent Goerge Santos be moved from freedom to an in-custody status?
Samuel Miele posed as McCarthy’s chief of staff, Dan Meyer, while communicating with more than a dozen potential donors, an indictment alleges.
A campaign fundraiser for indicted Rep. George Santos (R-NY) has himself been indicted on four federal felony counts stemming from emails and phone calls in which he allegedly impersonated a high-ranking aide to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
Samuel Miele, who worked for Santos during the 2020 and 2022 election cycles, is facing four counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft, according to an indictment unsealed Wednesday.
McCarthy and his chief of staff, Dan Meyer, are not cited by name in the indictment, but it was widely reported earlier this year that Miele had masqueraded as Meyer when contacting donors. Miele was reportedly fired after the allegations became public.
“Mr. Miele is not guilty of these charges,” his attorney, Kevin Marino, told The Daily Beast in an email on Wednesday. “He looks forward to complete vindication at trial as soon as possible.”
The feds say Miele posed as Meyer while communicating with more than a dozen potential donors during the last half of 2021. He did this “falsely and without authorization,” to raise money for Santos—and a 15 percent commission for himself, the indictment says. Miele made phone calls as Meyer, and sent emails from an account set up in Meyer’s name, according to the indictment. The funds were then deposited into Santos’ campaign account, after which Miele got his cut, the indictment states.
Prosecutors say Miele copped to the scheme in a letter to Santos last September, admitting to “faking my identity to a big donor.” However, Miele pointed out, there was “high risk, high reward in everything I do.”
Santos has been tainted by allegations of wrongdoing since before the serial fabulist took office in January. He was found to have made up most of his life story, lying about everything from supposedly being a college volleyball star to his “Jewish” family history.
He is currently free on $500,000 bond as he faces 13 federal fraud charges of his own. Prosecutors have accused him of a veritable smorgasbord of crimes, from misusing campaign funds to lying on official financial disclosures to collecting COVID unemployment benefits while earning a $120,000 salary. Santos, for his part, has said the charges are part of a “witch hunt” against him.
The charges against Miele were filed in U.S District Court for the Eastern District of New York, where his former boss’ trial is also being held. Amid widespread calls for Santos to resign, McCarthy has staunchly defended the freshman congressman’s right to remain seated as a legislator pending the outcome of his case.