A former campaign fundraiser for indicted Rep. George Santos may be looking to cut a deal with the feds in his own case, according to a new court filing.
Brooklyn federal prosecutors asked Judge Joanna Seybert to delay a status conference for Samuel Miele, who is accused of impersonating an aide to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to solicit donations for Santos. In the Wednesday letter, they said the extra time would “accommodate ongoing discovery review and plea negotiations” that have been active since Miele’s August arraignment on four counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.
The government did not provide any further details about plea discussions, and Miele’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Prosecutors allege that Miele, a 27-year-old who worked for Santos for two election cycles, sent more than a dozen potential campaign donors fraudulent fundraising emails and phone calls at the end of 2021 to raise money for the campaign. Miele allegedly made phone calls acting as McCarthy’s former chief of staff, Dan Meyer, and sent emails under his name.The indictment states that Miele—who prosecutors say got a 15 percent commission on donations—admitted to the scheme in a letter to Santos last September.
McCarthy and Meyer are not named in the indictment, but Miele’s alleged antics were widely reported earlier this year, and he was fired soon after the claims went public. He was also the subject of a Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint in February that detailed the alleged fraud scheme in which Miele raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Santos.
On Tuesday, prosecutors also asked Seybert to delay a Thursday hearing for Santos, though they did not specifically mention plea negotiations in that letter.
Santos was hit with a dozen federal fraud charges for several alleged crimes, including misuse of campaign funds to collect COVID unemployment benefits while receiving a $120,000 salary. He has denied the allegations.
Prosecutors told the court the first-term Republican needs more time to “review the voluminous discoverable material” put forward by the government. “Further, the parties have continued to discuss possible paths forward in this matter,” they wrote. “The parties wish to have additional time to continue those discussions.”
Santos has previously denied that he was working with the feds. Last month, after prosecutors filed another letter hinting at conversations to discuss “possible paths forward,” Santos told Talking Points Memo that the suggestion of a plea agreement was “wildly inaccurate.”