NEW YORK — Two relatives of Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) endorsed his $500,000 bond in federal court, allowing him to remain free while he faces charges related to defrauding political donors and illegally obtaining unemployment benefits.

The names were unsealed Thursday after news organizations successfully argued to a federal judge that the names should be made public, as is typical. The relatives of Santos who agreed to guarantee his bond are Gercino dos Santos Jr., his father, and Elma Preven, his aunt, according to a document filed with the court.

The two agreed to pay should Santos fail to appear for future court dates or violate other orders, allowing him to remain out of jail until trial.

Santos was less than six months into his term as a freshman congressman representing parts of Long Island and Queens when he was indicted in May on 13 counts of financial crimes. Prosecutors alleged that Santos defrauded his donors and illegally collected unemployment benefits while employed.

Federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York said Santos falsely claimed unemployment benefits in New York in the summer of 2020, falsely certifying that he was unemployed until spring 2021. He allegedly received $24,000 in government assistance. He was employed at a Florida investment firm at the time, they said.

He also allegedly stole donor funds and used them for personal expenses, including repaying a debt and buying clothes.

Santos pleaded not guilty at an arraignment May 10. He was released on a $500,000 bond on the condition that two approved suretors agreed to endorse his bond.

A magistrate judge who arraigned him agreed to allow his suretors to remain anonymous. Typically, bond suretors are named in public records. After a number of news outlets including The Washington Post argued to unseal those names, the initial order was lifted.

Santos, 34, and his attorney had argued that the suretors should remain anonymous because they would be hounded by media and potentially put at risk if their names were revealed. In a court filing, Santos’s lawyer, Joseph Murray, even suggested that Santos would rather go to jail than have those individuals identified publicly.

Before Thursday’s unsealing, Santos had said publicly that the bond endorsers were relatives.

Preven donated several thousand dollars to Santos’s successful 2022 congressional bid, federal filings show. The filings identify her as a mail handler for the U.S. Postal Service from New York.

Santos became a household name and the subject of satire when it was revealed after he was elected that he had lied repeatedly about significant aspects of his background, including his professional experience, his education and his family history. He also falsely claimed that his mother was a Sept. 11 survivor and that he had Jewish grandparents who fled Nazi Germany.

Echoing rhetoric often used by former president Donald Trump, Santos has called the case a “witch hunt.”

He has been indicted on seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering and two counts of providing false information to the House on financial disclosures. If convicted of the two most serious charges, he could face up to two decades in prison.

Members of Congress in both parties and other elected officials have called on Santos to resign. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has suggested Santos should not seek reelection but has not joined calls for his resignation, instead saying the matter should be handled by the House Ethics Committee, which voted in February to investigate the freshman congressman.

The committee’s Republican chairman, Rep. Michael Guest (Miss.), and its top Democrat, Rep. Susan Wild (Pa.), released a statement Thursday saying an investigative subcommittee had issued more than 30 subpoenas and more than 40 voluntary requests for information related to Santos.

Most of the charges leveled by prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York were “already in the jurisdiction” of the House subcommittee, according to the statement. But after the indictment, the committee voted to expand the inquiry to include allegations that Santos had fraudulently obtained unemployment insurance benefits, the committee’s leaders wrote.

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