Former Aide to Rep. George Santos Pleads Guilty to Federal Conspiracy Charge in Campaign Finance Scheme

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By Laura Simmons

Nancy Marks, a former long-serving aide to Rep. George Santos of New York, has entered a guilty plea on a federal conspiracy charge. Marks admitted to collaborating with Santos in the submission of false campaign finance reports. The plea carries a potential sentence of up to four years in prison.

At a federal courthouse on Long Island, Marks, who had served as the campaign treasurer for Santos during his congressional runs in 2020 and 2022, confessed that she and Santos had falsely claimed he loaned $500,000 to his campaign. In reality, they did not possess the funds for such a loan. Their intention was to create the appearance of a well-funded campaign to attract more donors.

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Marks further admitted to providing the Federal Elections Commission with a list of fictitious donors who had never actually contributed to the campaign. She did so without obtaining their consent.

Notably, the plea agreement reached with Marks did not include a requirement for her to cooperate in the case against Santos. In May, Santos was indicted on federal charges of embezzlement from his campaign, submitting false financial disclosures to Congress, and receiving unemployment benefits for which he was ineligible.

Following Marks’ acceptance of the plea deal, her attorney, speaking to reporters outside the courthouse, alleged that Santos had “mentally seduced” her. The attorney suggested that manipulation occurred, partly related to Marks’ family and her husband’s death, involving lies told by Santos. He hinted that Marks would be willing to testify against Santos if called upon to do so.

Marks had resigned from her position as Santos’ treasurer in January, amidst revelations that Santos had fabricated aspects of his life story and experience. Subsequently, the congressman took on the role of treasurer for his own campaign.

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