New questions are being raised about just how George Santos raised money for his congressional campaign — not just last November, but in 2020 as well.
Standing outside of the congressman’s office in the Queens neighborhood of Douglaston, Nassau County Legislator Josh Lafazan — who unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for the seat ultimately won by Santos — accused the Republican of outright fraud in his campaigns against then-incumbent Tom Suozzi in 2020, and then against Robert Zimmerman in 2022.
“Not only did George Santos defraud the voters in 2022, but George Santos lied to the voters in 2020,” Lafazan said. “Just because he lost that election doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be held accountable. In 2020. George Santos attributed at least $30,000 of donations to individuals who do not exist, and to addresses that do not exist.”
Lafazan has shared these claims in a letter to Dana Lindenbaum, who chairs the Federal Election Commission. Lafazan demands a federal investigation into these donations from two years ago, specifically:
Rafael Da Silva, whose name is synonymous with a Brazilian soccer player.
Steven Caruso, whose address was listed on “West Fingerboard Road” in Manhattan — a street that’s actually on Staten Island.
Carlos Suarez, listed as living in Flushing, but never lived in that ZIP code.
Lesley Goodman, for whom there are no public records of living in New York.
Lafazan referred to these specific individuals as “ghost donors.”
“We started these press conferences in December outside his fake Whitestone address in the time since we’ve traversed this district, and the storytelling we’re doing is working,” Lafazan said. “Not only do Democrats want George Santos gone, but Republicans want him gone. And as a legislator representing individuals in this district, it’s my job to form a bipartisan coalition to hold him accountable.”
Lafazan stood in front of Santos’s district office on Northern Boulevard in Douglaston — a building that still bears the name of the congressman’s predecessor, Tom Suozzi. Inside, reporters could see only one person working. The door was locked, and the man refused to talk to reporters.
Someone who answered the listed office phone number said they had no comment on the conference held outside, and added this particular number was used strictly for constituent services.
This past week, Santos told Republicans he would step down from the two committees House Speaker Kevin McCarthy assigned him to, citing the distraction caused by the intense public interest in what he’s described as an “embellished” personal, educational and work history. Law enforcement investigators from local to federal also said they are taking a hard look at where Santos found the money to fund his 2022 campaign.