After a brief hold allowing Santos to appeal, a federal judge ordered the reveal of the three people who promised to provide US Representative George Santos’ $500 bail. George Santos was caught under fire in May after he was charged “with diverting political campaign donations to fund personal expenses, claiming fraudulent unemployment benefits and making false financial disclosures to Congress” with the potential of facing up to 20 years in prison.
By Anthony Lin & Chris Dolmetsch; June 6, 2023
(Bloomberg) — The identities of US Representative George Santos’s three bail guarantors were ordered unsealed by a judge in his criminal fraud case, though the release was put on hold to give the Republican congressman a chance to appeal.
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Media organizations had sought the names of the three people who signed on as sureties for Santos’s $500,000 bond. Santos had argued that those people could suffer harm if their identities became public. US Magistrate Judge Anne Y. Shields on Tuesday granted the media organizations’ request but gave Santos until June 9 to appeal.
Santos was charged in May with diverting political campaign donations to fund personal expenses, claiming fraudulent unemployment benefits and making false financial disclosures to Congress. He faces as much as 20 years in prison if convicted.
Shields didn’t require attorneys for Santos to identify the guarantors in open court during the congressman’s arraignment, as is normal practice. They didn’t come forward when he was released, and no documentation about them has been posted on the public docket.
In January FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was denied a request to shield the identities of two people who secured his bond. He similarly argued that their names should be sealed to protect them from public scrutiny and potential harassment. They were identified as the former dean of Stanford’s law school and a senior research scientist at the elite university.
The case is US v. Santos, 23-cr-197, US District Court, Eastern District of New York (Central Islip).
(Updates with background starting in third paragraph. An earlier version of the headline online mischaracterized his guarantors. They secured his bond, they did not pay it.)