In 2022, George Santos was charged with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft for allegedly scamming a navy veteran out of nearly $300,000. Now, the veteran is firing back.
According to court documents, Santos posed as a financial advisor and convinced the veteran to invest his life savings in a fake real estate deal. The veteran, who is identified only as J.L. in the documents, says he met Santos through a mutual friend and was initially impressed with his credentials.
But J.L. soon became suspicious when he didn’t receive any returns on his investment. He eventually contacted the FBI, who launched an investigation into Santos.
Santos was arrested in August 2022 and has been held in federal custody since then. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
Now, J.L. is speaking out about his experience with Santos. In a statement released through his attorney, J.L. says he is “disappointed and hurt” by what happened.
“I trusted Mr. Santos with my life savings, and he took advantage of that trust,” J.L. says. “I hope that justice is served and that he is held accountable for his actions.”
J.L.’s attorney, John L. Tolley III, says his client is seeking restitution for his losses.
“We are working to ensure that J.L. is fully compensated for the money he lost,” Tolley says. “We are also working to raise awareness about this type of scam so that others don’t fall victim to it.”
Santos is currently awaiting trial, which is scheduled to begin later this year. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud and an additional two years for aggravated identity theft.
The case has highlighted the dangers of financial fraud and the importance of doing due diligence before investing money. Experts say it’s crucial to research any investment opportunity thoroughly and to be wary of anyone who promises guaranteed returns or pressures you to invest quickly.
As for J.L., he says he is trying to move on from the experience and is grateful for the support he has received.
“I hope that others can learn from what happened to me,” J.L. says. “It’s important to be vigilant and to protect your hard-earned money.”