Santos Fundraiser Charged With Impersonating House Aide

Samuel Miele faces wire fraud, ID theft charges
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2023 2:08 PM CDT
Feds Indict Santos Fundraiser
Rep. George Santos speaks to reporters outside the Capitol, May 17, 2023.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Rep. George Santos is notorious for inventing details about his background, among other things, but one of his campaign fundraisers went a step further and pretended to be an entirely different person, according to a federal indictment. Samuel Miele is accused of impersonating a top aide to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in emails to more than a dozen potential donors, CNBC reports. Miele, who worked on the Republican's 2020 and 2022 campaigns, has been charged with four counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

According to the indictment, Miele admitted in an email to Santos that he had been "faking my identity to a big donor," the New York Times reports. He added that he was "high risk, high reward in everything I do." Prosecutors say Miele made a commission of 15% on every contribution he brought in for Santos. He impersonated the aide—including by allegedly creating an email account in his name—"for the purpose of soliciting contributions to the campaign and enriching himself through commissions earned," the indictment states. Miele was released on $150,000 bond after his arraignment in Brooklyn federal court Wednesday.

The indictment doesn't name the person Miele allegedly impersonated, describing them only as a "high-ranking aide to a member of the House with leadership responsibilities," but McCarthy has confirmed it was Dan Meyer, his long-serving chief of staff who retired earlier this year. McCarthy said Santos fired Miele after he learned about his behavior. Santos wasn't named in the Miele indictment, though prosecutors said in a letter filed Wednesday that the case "may be presumptively related" to the wire fraud case against Santos. (More George Santos stories.)

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