Rep. George Santos’ $500K bond was guaranteed by his father and aunt | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey

WASHINGTON — The father and aunt of Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., guaranteed his $500,000 bond after he was charged last month with more than a dozen federal counts, a source familiar with the matter confirmed to NBC News on Thursday.

The congressman’s father, Gercino Dos Santos, and his aunt, Elma Santos Preven, were the suretors for the bond. They did not have to provide any money upfront — they are only obligated to pay if Santos violates the terms of his release.

Their names, first reported by ABC News, were confirmed minutes before a federal court in New York released a document just after noon Thursday showing the family members’ signatures.

U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert had ordered that their identities be made public.

Santos’ lawyer had previously argued that unsealing the names of the co-signers would put them in a position in which they’d likely “suffer great distress, may lose their jobs, and God forbid, may suffer physical injury.”

On Thursday, Santos told reporters on Capitol Hill that he kept their identities secret because he was concerned about their safety.

Asked if his family members had the money to guarantee bond, Santos said, “Don’t you think that’s a little invasive? That’s exactly the reason that I chose to keep their identities secure. My dad is an honest working man, as is my aunt.”

Later in the day, Santos tweeted, “My family & I have made peace with the judges decision to release their names. Now I pray that the judge is correct and no harm comes to them.” He also asked the media not to disturb or harass his dad and aunt.

Several media organizations, including NBCUniversal News Group, had requested that the court unseal and make public documents with the names of the bond guarantors, known as suretors.

Rep. George Santos leaves the Capitol while surrounded by people recording him with cell phones (Alex Wong / Getty Images file)

Santos, 34, was released on bond after his May 10 court appearance following his indictment on 13 criminal counts. He has been charged with 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.

Santos pleaded not guilty on all counts during his arraignment.

Other conditions of his release include random monitoring at home and a ban on travel outside of New York and Washington without seeking permission from the court. He was also ordered to surrender his passport.

Santos is due in court for his next appearance on June 30 in New York.

The congressman’s lawyer didn’t respond to a request for comment.

After leaving court in May, Santos said some of the charges were “inaccurate” and he expressed confidence that he would be able to clear his name.

If he is convicted, Santos could face up to 20 years in prison for “the top counts,” the Justice Department said, without specifying which counts those were.

He has resisted calls for his resignation from fellow Republicans and said he still plans to run for re-election next year, despite ongoing investigations he has faced at the federal, state and local levels.

Meanwhile, the House Ethics Committee said Thursday that the panel has issued more than 30 subpoenas and more than 40 voluntary requests for information in its own investigation into Santos. In an update, the panel said its working to resolve the matter in an “expeditious timeframe” and that it’s been in touch with the Justice Department to “mitigate the potential risks” of dual investigations while “still meeting the Committee’s obligations to safeguard the integrity of the House.”

The committee typically steps aside when the Justice Department picks up a probe into a member of Congress, but it has continued to investigate Santos for potential ethics violations despite his recent indictment.

Santos first came under scrutiny after The New York Times published a bombshell investigation in December indicating that much of his résumé appeared to have been manufactured, including claims that he owned numerous properties, was previously employed by Goldman Sachs and Citigroup and had graduated from Baruch College.


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