Sam Miele, fundraiser for Rep. George Santos, pleads guilty to wire fraud


(NEW YORK) — Sam Miele, a fundraiser for embattled Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., pleaded guilty to wire fraud Tuesday in connection with impersonating an aide to then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Miele was charged in August with aggravated identity theft and four counts of wire fraud.

Miele is the second person charged alongside Santos to plead guilty following campaign treasurer Nancy Marks last month.

Miele agreed to pay $109,171 in restitution, $69,136 in forfeiture and a separate stipulated payment of $470,000 to a contributor.

“The defendant used fraud and deceit to steal more than $100,000 from his victims, funneling this money into the campaign committees of candidates for the House, and into his own pockets,” United States Attorney Peace said Tuesday.

Prosecutors said Miele sent emails and phone calls seeking campaign contributions while claiming to be a “high ranking aide to a member of the House with leadership responsibilities.”

According to court records, Miele misrepresented himself as a high-ranking congressional aide to then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy to deceive donors and then used their money to pad his own pocket and the coffers of Santos’ campaign.

As part of his plea, Miele admitted he committed access device fraud by charging credit cards without authorization for contributions to the campaigns of Santos and other candidates.

Miele faces up to 20 years in prison.

Miele was the subject of a similar Federal Elections Commission complaint in February.

He will be sentenced in April.

Santos has pleaded not guilty to 23 counts as prosecutors allege he stole people’s identities, made charges on his campaign donors’ credit cards and lied to federal election officials. He survived a Republican-led effort to expel him from the House on Nov. 1.

ABC News’ Alexandra Hutzler contributed to this report.

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