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Former fundraiser for Rep. George Santos campaign indicted in NY

Prosecutors accuse Samuel Miele of impersonating a top aide to House GOP leadership

Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., leaves the U.S. Capitol in May.
Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., leaves the U.S. Capitol in May. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A former fundraiser for the campaign of New York Republican Rep. George Santos faces federal charges that he impersonated a high-ranking aide to a member of House leadership while wooing potential donors.

An indictment, made public Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, accuses Samuel Miele of four counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft for email and telephone communications from August to December 2021.

The staffer Miele pretended to be is Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s former chief of staff, the New York Times reported.

Miele, who received a commission of 15 percent per contribution from the amount of money he raised for the Santos campaign, purported to be the McCarthy staffer to support the campaign and enrich himself through commissions, the indictment states.

Miele created an email account posing as the McCarthy staffer to send solicitations to more than a dozen potential contributors and signed those emails using the employee’s full name and official title, the charging document says.

On Sept. 26, 2022, Miele sent a letter to Santos wherein he admitted to “faking my identity to a big donor,” and said he was “high risk, high reward in everything I do.”

Gabrielle Lipsky, a spokesperson for Santos, said the congressional office has nothing to do with campaign-related matters.

Meanwhile, Santos faces 13 criminal charges that include money laundering, theft of public funds and lying on House financial disclosure statements.

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