'Didn’t only lie to his voters': George Santos accused of ripping off fellow Republicans

'Didn’t only lie to his voters': George Santos accused of ripping off fellow Republicans

United States Rep. George Santos (R-NY) is embroiled in yet another scandal involving allegations that he duped people who supported his campaign.

On Thursday, per The Daily Beast, two organizations affiliated with Santos — Redstone Strategies and Red Strategies USA — have accused the GOP lawmaker of pocketing funds raised for his fellow Republican candidates.

The Daily Beastreports:

The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Associated Press, as well as The Daily Beast's own research, have all identified 'Company #1' in the indictment with Redstone Strategies—a limited liability company formed in Florida in November 2021, and which listed Santos' Devolder Organization and his old co-worker Jayson Benoit as its managers. In an interview with The Daily Beast, Santos both denied that Redstone Strategies was the company in the case, and that he ever served as its manager, insisting that Benoit had included his company in the original business filings in error.

READ MORE: George Santos indicted by the Justice Department: report

Stefano Forte, a Republican who unsuccessfully ran for a Senate seat in Queens last year told The Daily Beast, "George didn't only lie to his voters, but also to fellow candidates around him for his own alleged financial gain," adding, "They did do some fundraising for me, but ultimately I was unhappy with their work and decided to part ways with them,” Forte continued, adding that he later learned of Santos' stake in the company. I immediately had words with George because I was very upset that he kept that information from me."

Additionally, Stefano Forte ended his relationship "with Redstone in June 2022—after paying the company more than $14,000."

The lying lawmaker told The Daily Beast "he had referred other candidates to Redstone, but denied he benefited financially from any of the transactions," and also denied Forte's accusation.

"Who do you believe?" Forte said back to the publication. "Me or Anthony Devolder (a.k.a. George Santos a.k.a. world-famous Brazilian drag queen Kitara Ravache)—proud Jew and former Baruch volleyball star, Goldman Sachs executive, producer of ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,’ Hannah Montana guest star, and eccentric millionaire? I'm sure he's nervous that I’ll run against him. But I’d be surprised if he even has the opportunity to run again once the justice system takes its course."

READ MORE: Reporters boo George Santos for declaring indictments a 'witch hunt'

The Daily Beastreports:

Campaign finance records show that Redstone raked in cash from multiple sources during the 2022 cycle, including from Rise NY PAC, a political action committee run by the now-congressman's sister. It also served as a vendor to failed House candidate Robert Cornicelli, and to several other GOP insurgents in New York, most of whom did not respond to requests for comment on the record.

Those who did, however, reported a pattern of deceptive behavior on the part of Santos and poor or negligible services from Redstone.

Furthermore, the publication reports Redstone Strategies was not helpful to another fellow New York candidate — Tina Forte —although her "campaign did pay another company Santos and Benoit co-founded: Red Strategies USA, which took in upwards of $110,000 from the failed House bid."

A Republican source revealed to The Daily Beast, "Redstone Strategies was simply a continuation of the Red Strategies scheme," noting "a proposed contract that Benoit sent in January 2022 to Pura de Jesus Coniglio, who sought to run against Tina Forte in the GOP primary," uses "the Redstone logo" and "resembles the deal Red Strategies had signed with Tina Forte."

According to marketing professional and activist Jen Remauro, "Santos had urged the fellow congressional contender to hire Red Strategies USA, while concealing his financial interest in it. In fact, she said Santos engineered Tina Forte's entire challenge to the famous democratic socialist lawmaker for the apparent purpose of profiting from it."

'Tacit endorsement': House Republicans block resolution to expel George Santos

Remauro said, "Santos was in constant contact with Tina Forte's campaign team, usually by text, often commiserating about Red Strategies' poor service and volunteering himself as an interlocutor between the campaign and the firm."

He added the congressman "was playing the role of not knowing these people and being on our side. Because they weren’t doing their jobs. He was like the middle man between Red Strategies and us."

READ MORE: Moderate Republicans 'complicit in defrauding' voters for not booting George Santos: congressman

The Daily Beast's full report is available at this link (subscription required).

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