Rep. Santos’ associate, previously accused of impersonating a member of McCarthy’s staff, faces federal charges for identity theft

U.S. Rep. George Santos, center, with his attorney Joseph Murray, second from left, depart federal court with security and journalists in tow, Friday, June 30, 2023, in Central Islip, N.Y. An aide to the congressman’s campaign, Sam Miele, not pictured, has been charged for impersonating chief of staff to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in fundraising calls and emails.
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Rep. George Santos’ campaign associate who was formerly accused of impersonating a member of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s staff was indicted in New York on federal charges related to impersonating a chief of staff of a high ranking member of Congress to raise funds.

Sam Miele, the aide, was charged with four counts of wire fraud and one count of identity theft. According to ABC News he was arraigned Wednesday. He pleaded not guilty and was released on $150,000 bail.

Federal prosecutors in the indictment say that Miele admitted to “faking my identity to a big donor,” but added that he was “high risk, high reward” mindset, according to the indictment filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

It also states that Miele earned a 15% commission for each donor contribution.

“Mr. Miele is not guilty of these charges,” said Miele’s attorney, Kevin Marino, per ABC News. “He looks forward to complete vindication at trial as soon as possible.”

The charges do not name Santos, R-N.Y., nor the person Miele was impersonating.

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In February, a complaint was filed with the Federal Election Commission alleging that Miele had called Santos campaign donors pretending to be Dan Meyer, the former chief of staff to McCarthy, “and sent follow-up emails from a fake address.”

The complaint said McCarthy’s team was aware of the issue in August 2021 and raised it with Santos’ campaign to resolve it.

The speaker’s office did not offer a comment on the news. Earlier in May, McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters that action on Santos’ violation of ethics should come to a conclusion “very quickly.”

“I would like the Ethics Committee to move rapidly on this,” he said.

As The New York Times noted, the case is filed by the same prosecutors who are pursuing charges against Santos in a separate case.

Santos pleaded guilty to 13 charges against him, including wire fraud, theft of public funds, money laundering and lying to Congress about how much money he had in May this year. But he did not resign from office and said he would run for reelection in 2024.

During his recent appearance in court, Santos did not offer any comments as prosecutors submitted a mountain of 80,000 documents offering evidence about the charges of laundering money, according to The Associated Press.

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