Samuel Miele, a former fundraiser for embattled Rep. George Santos’s 2020 and 2022 congressional campaigns, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to federal charges of wire fraud.
Miele agreed to pay $109,171 in restitution, $69,136 in forfeiture, and a separate stipulated payment of $470,000 to a contributor, according to a news release by U.S. Attorney Breon Peace’s office.
“The defendant used fraud and deceit to steal more than one hundred thousand dollars from his victims, funneling this money into the campaign committees of candidates for the House, and into his own pockets,” Peace said. “Defrauding potential political contributors undermines our democracy, and we will vigorously prosecute such conduct.”
Miele admitted in court in Central Islip on Tuesday to impersonating a House staffer to solicit funds for Santos’s campaigns. While the indictment did not name who he impersonated, multiple news outlets have reported that Miele pretended to bee Dan Meyer, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s chief of staff.
Kevin Marino, Miele’s lawyer, said Miele has accepted accountability for his actions but refused to answer the question of whether or not Miele will testify against Santos.
This comes after Santos faced a fresh wave of federal fraud charges in October. He pleaded not guilty to all of them and his trial is expected to begin next fall.
Nancy Marks, Santos’s former campaign treasurer, also pleaded guilty to federal charges in October. Her lawyer, Raymond Perini, has claimed she was manipulated by Santos.
Santos recently survived a House expulsion vote brought forth by his Long Island colleague, Rep. Anthony D’Esposito. Despite the House voting to keep Santos, the Ethics Committee has said it expects to be done with their investigation by Nov. 17.