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Republican congressman George Santos, notable for his extravagant lies about his background, including disproved claims that he attended Baruch College and New York University and played high-level college volleyball, worked for Wall Street firms like Citigroup and Goldman Sachs and that his mother died in 9/11, has been charged with 13 counts of money laundering, fraud, and of course, lying. He was arrested and taken into federal custody yesterday.

Some of the more eye-popping charges levied at Santos include spending campaign funds on luxury clothing and reporting false income and asset data in House disclosure forms. The full list of charges includes 7 counts of wire fraud, 3 counts of money laundering, 1 count of theft of public funds and 2 counts of making materially false statements. He could face 20 years in prison for the top counts alone.

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House leader Kevin McCarthy has indicated he is monitoring the situation and has not ruled out telling Santos to resign if convicted. A House member is technically not barred from Congress if they are convicted of a crime, but rules state that if they receive a prison sentence of two or more years, they cannot vote on the House floor.

Social media wasn't quite surprised by the news, as stories about Santos's most brazen lies have long been fodder for memes since the congressman's election in 2023. As such, many fired off jokes at Santos's expense.

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Ironically, Santos's arrest comes as Republicans are working on a bill intended to help states recover fraudulently claimed unemployment benefits from the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Santos is a co-sponsor of that bill. One of the charges he is facing is for unrightfully claiming $24,000 in unemployment.


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