(The Hill) — Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), who has faced controversy after it was revealed he made false statements about large parts of his personal and work background, once raised money for a company that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) later said was a Ponzi scheme, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The Journal reported on Saturday that Santos convinced at least one person to invest a six-figure sum into a Florida-based company called Harbor City Capital. People familiar with the matter told the Journal that Santos was hired in 2020 to raise money for the company and brought in at least one major investment.
One of the people said Santos reassured the investor when the investment did not deliver its promised returns by telling him that he made $100 million and invested his family’s money in the company.
The SEC accused Harbor City Capital of being a Ponzi scheme in 2021 in a civil lawsuit.
The report is the latest in a string of controversies surrounding the embattled congressman. Many Democrats and at least seven House Republicans have called on him to resign in light of reports that he misled voters about major details in his background as a candidate.
The head of the Nassau County Republican Party has also called on Santos to resign.
Some of the instances include claiming to have worked at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup and graduated from Baruch College and to be Jewish, but none of those claims are true.
Santos has admitted to “embellishing” his resume but denied lying. He has been adamant that he will not resign from his office despite the calls for him to step down.
The Journal reported that Santos has previously denied wrongdoing in his conduct with Harbor City Capital and said that he was not listed as a defendant in the SEC’s case against the company.
The SEC declined to comment to the Journal on its report. The Hill has reached out to Santos’ office for comment.
The Journal reported that Santos did not disclose any income he received from Harbor City on financial disclosure forms that federal candidates are required to fill out.
Brazil has also reportedly reopened a criminal investigation into Santos to look into allegations that he used a stolen checkbook and a fake name to buy almost $700 worth of items at a clothing store in 2008.