George Santos’ family members identified as bond backers

Several media organizations, including NBCUniversal News Group, had requested that the court unseal the names of the bond guarantors, known as suretors.
June 22, 2023 at 16:08 Author: Editors Desk Source: CNN:::
George Santos speaks outside of courthouse after pleading not guilty | Source: CNN
George Santos speaks outside of courthouse after pleading not guilty | Source: CNN

CNN — A federal judge on Thursday unsealed the identities of the co-signers on embattled Rep. George Santos’ $500,000 bond that allowed the New York Republican to stay out of federal custody after he was charged in a 13-count indictment.

The guarantors were listed as Elma Santos Preven and Gercino Dos Santos, according to signatures on the court documents that were unsealed. A law enforcement official confirmed to CNN that the guarantors were Santos’ aunt and father, respectively.

Neither relative secured the bond with cash or property, according to a court order that was among the documents unsealed Thursday. But Santos’ father and aunt “agreed to be personally responsible” for the congressman’s compliance with the terms of his release, the order noted.

Santos was released on bond and ordered to surrender his passport in May after pleading not guilty to 13 federal charges – seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds, and two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives.

The family members’ names were revealed Thursday after Santos and his lawyer lost an appeal to keep the identities of the bond co-signers under seal. Santos had argued that he needed to shield his bond co-signers to protect their privacy and risked having them with withdraw their support once their names became public.

Santos’ father, who lives in New York, has donated to his son’s political campaigns in the past and has been listed in federal filings as working as a painter or in construction, Federal Election Commission records show. He also has been listed as retired.

Santos Preven, who also has donated to her nephew’s congressional campaign, was described as a mail handler for the US Postal Service, in an FEC donation record from October 2021. She also was listed as having a New York address.

House rules allow lawmakers to receive gifts from a broad array of extended relatives, including aunts, uncles, first cousins and in-laws without violating restrictions on receiving gifts.

Santos is currently in his first term representing New York’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes parts of Long Island. His astonishing pattern of lies and fabrications, which stunned even hardened politicos, led top Democrats and some New York Republicans to call for his resignation earlier this year. But Santos has refused those calls and has said he plans to seek reelection next year.



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