the talented mr. santos

George Santos, Fashion Criminal

Business formal. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

George Santos was hit with 13 criminal counts on Tuesday, including wire fraud and money laundering. Though the alleged crimes weren’t particularly surprising, federal prosecutors’ allegation that he solicited political contributions in order to pay for personal items including “luxury designer clothing” harkens back to a recurring theme for the biggest liar in Congress: his passion for fashion.

In 2008, when Santos was living in Brazil, he wrote checks stolen from an elderly man to purchase $1,300 in shoes and clothing from a Rio de Janeiro store. Earlier this year, Santos reached a deal with Brazilian prosecutors to confess to the crime and pay damages to the victim, a store clerk he defrauded.

Voting on Election Day called for a Burberry quilted jacket. Photo: Chris Ware/Newsday RM via Getty Images/Newsday via Getty Images

Years later, when Santos was living in the U.S., he allegedly stole clothes from his roommates in Queens. Two former roommates told Patch that Santos had taken an Armani shirt and a $500 Burberry shirt from them. They also accused him of stealing a Burberry scarf, which they believed he wore under a camel-hair overcoat during his speech at a “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington on January 5, 2021, after his first failed run for Congress.

Clothing played a key role in the image Santos cultivated for himself as a successful businessman seeking office. As David Freedlander wrote earlier this year, “Santos seemed to be constantly competing with everyone around him, making sure it was known that he had the better shoes, clothes, watches, and car.”

A chilly day at the Capitol calls for a quarter-zip pullover. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Imag

Even after he copped to embellishing parts of his résumé late last year, Santos kept shopping. When the New York Post caught him heading into his sister’s apartment after he was exposed, Santos was seen carrying a Hermès bag.

Santos Allegedly Used Fraud to Pay for Designer Clothes