George Santos may have left the House of Representatives, but that hasn’t stopped him from continuing to fail to fulfill his responsibilities as a congressman. Last weekend, months after becoming the only House member who did not file his annual financial disclosure, he apparently missed yet another deadline to file yet another legally required financial disclosure. This time around, the missing filing was a termination report whose deadline came and went this past weekend without a request for an extension from Santos.
As a member of Congress leaving office—even one who was forced out—Santos is required to file a final financial disclosure, or at least request an extension, within 30 days of leaving office. He has done neither, meaning he has not filed a single financial disclosure since he filed his last candidate report in 2022. The finance reports he filed as a candidate that year and in 2020, during his first run for office, have become central artifacts in the DOJ’s fraud case against Santos. A superseding indictment filed last October describes how he misled House ethics officials by vastly inflating his income and wealth.
The intense focus on Santos’s financial distortions seems to have made him reluctant to file any more reports, even though they’re required by law. As CREW reported last October, Santos was the only member of Congress who had yet to file an annual financial disclosure as a member of the House. At the time, he shrugged off the delays, saying he would “rather be late, accurate, and pay the fine than be on time, inaccurate, and suffer the consequences of a rushed job.” That filing was originally due in May, and Santos has still yet to file it. Meanwhile, other members of Congress far wealthier than him managed to file theirs, as did another one of his Republican colleagues who left Congress after being convicted of making false statements to the FBI and concealing information about his campaign donations.
Aside from being yet another indication of Santos’s low regard for rules that exist to provide the public with information they can use to hold elected representatives accountable, the failure to file after being given notice by the Clerk’s office could also have legal and financial repercussions for him. The instructions members are given when filing their annual financial reports notes “that the Attorney General may pursue either civil or criminal penalties against an individual who knowingly and willfully falsifies…or fails to file” such reports. The maximum civil and criminal penalty in such cases is $71,316, according to the document, and Santos is now potentially looking at his second such offense.