Fundraiser for George Santos charged with impersonating aide to Speaker McCarthy

Sam Miele accused of pretending to be Kevin McCarthy’s chief of staff Dan Meyer as he called and contacted donors

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Wednesday 16 August 2023 14:57 EDT

Related video: George Santos arrested on 13 federal charges

A former fundraiser for embattled Republican George Santos has been indicted in New York for allegedly impersonating a top aide to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Sam Miele is accused of pretending to be Mr McCarthy’s chief of staff Dan Meyer as he called and contacted donors to raise money for Mr Santos, from which he earned a commission.

Mr Miele was charged with four counts of wire fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft in the indictment, which was unsealed by the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York on Wednesday.

His arrest comes just three months after Mr Santos, a congressman from New York, was charged in the same court with fraud, theft, money laundering and making false statements. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors state in the indictment that in a 26 September 2022 letter, Mr Miele wrote a letter to Mr Santos “in which he admitted to ‘faking my identity to a big donor,’ but stated that he was ‘high risk, high reward in everything I do.’”

The indictment states that between August and December 2021 Mr Miele “falsely and without authorization impersonated” an individual who was “a high-ranking aide to a member of the House with leadership responsibilities.”

During that period Mr McCarthy, a Republican from California, was the House minority leader.

Mr Miele was arraigned on the indictment on Wednesday and pleaded not guilty. He was then released on $150,000 bail.

Mr Santos was elected for the first time in November 2022 and his House district covers parts of Nassau County, Long Island, and Queens in New York City.

Following his election victory Mr Santos has faced a barrage of accusations that he has faked his personal and family history as well as his education and professional experience.

Despite calls for him to resign, Speaker McCarthy has refused to force him to stand down, saying that the House Ethics Committee should carry out its investigation into the lawmaker.

Mr Santos has condemned the federal investigation as a “witch hunt,” vowing to not only remain in Congress but to seek reelection.

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