Santos Ally Pleads Guilty to Impersonating Congressional Aide for Campaign Funds

( – Sam Miele, 27, a former campaign aide and fundraiser for Rep. George Santos (R-NY), pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud, device fraud, and criminal impersonation on Tuesday, November 14, according to a statement released by the Justice Department. He reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors in the US Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York.

The Background

During the 2020 and 2022 election cycles, Sam Miele worked for Santos and his campaign on a commission basis, taking roughly 15% of the donations he raised as compensation for his services. Miele noted that more established Congress members and their staff members had easier access to donors who gave more to campaigns.

Federal prosecutor Breon Peace accused Miele of impersonating Dan Meyer, then-chief-of-staff to Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), through email and telephone conversations he had with several donors or potential donors from August through December of 2021.

Miele set up email accounts using Meyer’s first initial and last name and represented himself as Meyer to potential donors. He contacted and elicited funds from over a dozen donors for Santos and other political candidates, totaling more than $100,000.

About a year later, in a September 2022 letter to Santos, Miele admitted that he’d faked his identity to a big donor. However, instead of remorse, he exhibited bravado, bragging that he was “high risk, high reward in everything” he did.

The Plea Deal

Judge Joanna Seybert oversaw the agreement. As part of his guilty plea, Miele must pay restitution of $109,171. He must also forfeit $69,136, which he fraudulently earned through commissions. Furthermore, he consented to a separate stipulated payment of $470,000 to a contributor. Stipulated judgments order an individual to repay a debt on an agreed schedule. Miele could still face more than 20 years in prison when Deybert sentences him on April 30, 2024.


Miele is the second former Santos staffer to take a federal plea deal. Nancy Marks, the former treasurer for the Santos campaign, was the first. She pleaded guilty to a fraud conspiracy charge. She also implicated Santos in a plan to inflate campaign finance reports with fake loans and non-existent donors.

On October 23, federal prosecutors filed a 23-count superseding indictment against Santos, charging him with wire fraud, identity theft, making materially false statements to the Federal Election Commission and the House of Representatives, money laundering, access device fraud, and conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States. Judge Seybert set a trial date of September 9, 2024, after the congress member pleaded not guilty to all charges on October 27, 2023.

On November 16, Santos announced that he would not seek another term in office shortly after the House Ethics Committee issued its long-anticipate report on his alleged behavior.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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