Federal prosecutors urge judge to reject ex-Rep. George Santos’ attempts to toss ID theft charges

As former Rep. George Santos’ federal fraud case moves closer to a trial later this year, federal prosecutors are calling on a judge to reject the expelled lawmaker’s attempts to spike a number of identity theft charges against him.

Santos’ legal team last month moved to dismiss three of the 23 counts against him, arguing that the aggravated identity theft charges he faces run afoul of a recent Supreme Court decision, and that he’s not accused of stealing donors’ credit card information, but rather of overcharging their cards without permission.

“All of the credit cards were voluntarily sent to Santos’ campaign and his campaign was authorized to charge the cards for a specified amount,” his attorneys wrote.

On Friday, federal prosecutors called Santos’ arguments “meritless,” contending that the 2023 Supreme Court decision, which narrows the use of aggravated identity theft charges, doesn’t apply to his case.

Prosecutors allege that Santos didn’t just overcharge the cards, he used other people’s personal info to make it look like “different people were making the various charges, thus allowing him to charge the same credit cards multiple times for campaign contributions without appearing to exceed campaign contribution limits.”

Santos entered into plea negotiations with prosecutors late last year, but those talks haven’t borne fruit, and both sides are preparing for a possible Sept. 9 trial date in federal court on Long Island.

Santos, who lied about nearly every aspect of his life during his successful run for office in 2022 — including his education, religion, family history, professional experience and property ownership. — was booted from Congress in December in a 311-113 vote.

He faces multiple fraud and identity theft charges, including allegations he stole people’s identities and made unauthorized charges on campaign donors’ credit cards to buy designer clothes and pay personal debts.