U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres Calls on SEC, New York State Agencies to Investigate U.S. Rep. George Santos for Alleged Violations of Securities Laws

Feb 01, 2023
In the News
Press

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Ritchie Torres (NY-15) today announced that following recent reporting from the Washington Post, he is calling on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the State of New York to investigate potential violations of federal and state securities laws by U.S. Rep. George Santos (NY-03) during his time as an employee at Harbor City Capital Corporation in Florida. 

The letter Rep. Torres sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission can be found here.

The letter Rep. Torres sent to the New York State Department of Financial Services can be found here.

The letter Rep. Torres sent to the New York State Office of the Attorney General can be found here.

“Extremely thorough and public investigative reporting continues to uncover an even larger and more disturbing pattern of dishonesty, unethical behavior, and possible criminal activity on the part of Rep. Santos,” said Rep Torres. “It’s bad enough he lied about every facet of his personal and professional life to reach elected office. Now, there are very serious questions about his work at this failed investment firm that shut down under accusations of operating a ‘classic Ponzi scheme’. The man simply cannot be trusted and must be investigated to see what role he might have played in ripping off investors and misappropriating millions of dollars.”

According to the Post,Rep. Santos worked at Harbor City in 2020 and 2021 under his mother’s family name, George Devolder, and was made aware the firm used fraudulent bank documents to attract prospective investors. However, according to the Post, Rep. Santos continued to promote Harbor City and encourage new investment potentially using the fake documents, which would constitute a violation of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Additionally, no record exists that Rep. Santos was a registered broker or dealer licensed by the SEC but continued presenting himself as a Harbor City representative in advertising investment opportunities and working with prospective investors, which would constitute another violation of federal securities law.

Harbor City closed in April 2021 following emergency action by the SEC to stop an ongoing, fraudulent Ponzi scheme that victimized hundreds of investors across the country. 

In a letter to the chair of the SEC, Rep. Torres writes, “I am urging the SEC to investigate Mr. Santos for operating as an unregistered broker who raised funds from unsuspecting investors and who relied upon a fraudulent SBLC while doing so. The public has a right to know the truth not only about the lies that Mr. Santos tells but also about the laws he might have broken.”

The call for these additional investigations is just the latest action Rep. Torres has taken to hold Rep. Santos accountable for his growing web of deception. He previously requested the FEC investigate potential violations of federal elections law by the Santos campaign. Rep. Torres also previously filed an official complaint against Rep. Santos with the House Ethics Committee and is continuing to demand that Republican House leadership publicly explain what they knew and when about Santos’s seemingly neverending trail of lies, following reporting in the New York Times.

Rep. Torres is also sponsoring new legislation that would punish candidates for federal office who knowingly lie to voters about their background.

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