Rep. Santos’ $500K bond was guaranteed by father, aunt
Rep. George Santos' family, according to sources, secured him $500,000 following his numerous charges.
A source familiar with the situation revealed Thursday that Republican Congressman George Santos's father, and aunt secured his $500,000 bond after he was charged with more than a dozen federal offenses last month.
The congressman's suretors, Gercino Dos Santos, and his aunt, Elma Santos Preven. They were not required to pay anything upfront; they are only required to pay if Santos violates the terms of his release.
Their names were confirmed minutes before a federal court in New York released a document on Thursday showing the family members' signatures. That said, US District Judge Joanna Seybert had ordered that their identities be made public.
Santos' lawyer said that revealing the co-signers' names would place them in a position where they would "suffer great distress, may lose their jobs, and God forbid, may suffer physical injury."
He told reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday that he kept their identities secret because he was concerned about their safety.
Asked whether his family members had the money to guarantee a bond, Santos said: "Don’t you think that’s a little invasive? That’s exactly the reason that I chose to keep their identities secure. My dad is an honest working man, as is my aunt."
Santos tweeted later in the day, "My family & I have made peace with the judge's decision to release their names. Now I pray that the judge is correct and no harm comes to them."
Several media organizations, including NBCUniversal News Group, had asked the court to unseal and make public the names of the bond guarantors, known as suretors.
Santos was released on bond following his May 10 court appearance after being indicted on 13 criminal counts. Seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one offense of theft of public funds, and two counts of making substantially false representations to the House of Representatives have been filed against him. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment.
Other restrictions of his parole include random home monitoring and a prohibition on traveling outside of New York and Washington without court approval. He was also told to hand over his passport. Santos is due in court for his next appearance on June 30 in New York. His lawyer didn't respond to a request for comment.
Santos stated after leaving court in May that some of the charges were "inaccurate," and he was certain that he would be able to clear his name. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in jail for "the top counts," according to the Justice Department, without specifying which counts.