Who co-signed George Santos' bond? Court records reveal identities


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Washington — Two family members of indicted GOP Rep. George Santos cosigned the $500,000 bond that allowed him to go free as his criminal case proceeds, newly unsealed court records revealed Thursday.

Santos’ father Gercino dos Santos and aunt Elma Preven signed on as suretors guaranteeing the unsecured bond when he was charged last month, and their identities had been hidden until Thursday. Their signatures on Santos’ conditions of release were made public over the objections of the embattled congressman, who raised concerns it would open them up to retaliation.

The New York congressman confirmed the identities of his co-signers while speaking to reporters outside his office on Capitol Hill on Thursday, and reiterated his reasoning for wanting to keep their names hidden: “Now I know what’s going to happen. You guys are going to go dig up their addresses their phone numbers. You’re going to drive their lives absolutely miserable.”

Santos and the co-signers could be on the hook for the $500,000 bond if he fails to appear to court or violates the terms of his release. The bond will be considered “satisfied” when Santos is either found not guilty on all charges, or appears to serve a sentence, according to the terms. It is unsecured, meaning Santos and his co-signers did not have to provide collateral that would be subject to forfeiture if he didn’t comply with the court’s orders.

Earlier this month, U.S. Magistrate Judge Anne Shields granted a request from media organizations and ordered the names of the co-signers to be unsealed, but kept their identities secret to allow Santos’ lawyer to appeal the decision.

But on Monday, U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert, who hears cases in Central Islip, New York, agreed to make the records disclosing the identities of the bond suretors available to the public.

The media outlets, including the New York Times, Associated Press, ABC News and the Washington Post, asked the court to reveal the bond co-signers’ names last month. The outlets argued there was significant public interest in maintaining transparency in the proceedings involving Santos, and the public and the press have a First Amendment right to access the judicial records.

But Santos’ lawyer opposed the requests and told the court that if the identities of the bond suretors were known to the public, the co-signers would be “likely to suffer great distress, may lose their jobs, and God forbid, may suffer physical injury.”

“My client would rather surrender to pretrial detainment than subject these suretors to what will inevitably come,” lawyer Joseph Murray told Shields in a June 5 letter.

In earlier letters to the court from late May, which were also unsealed Thursday, Murray indicated he had “difficulties in engaging” a third co-signer, and requested a modification to Santos’ bail conditions to allow only two suretors. The government did not object to the request.

Santos was charged last month with 13 criminal counts, including wire fraud, money laundering and lying to Congress about his finances. He pleaded not guilty and was released on the $500,000 unsecured bond.

The House Ethic Committee, which is conducting its own investigation into Santos, has also requested he provide the names of the people who co-signed his bond.

Jacqueline Kalil contributed reporting.

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Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden is a news writer for LinkDaddy News. She writes health, sport, tech, and more. Some of her favorite topics include the latest trends in fitness and wellness, the best ways to use technology to improve your life, and the latest developments in medical research.

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