A young, gay Republican born in New York City to Brazilian immigrants, congressional candidate George Devolder-Santos has embraced an overt image of “walking, living and breathing.” .
But the successor to Representative Tom Suozzi (D-New York) seems less eager to share another detail of his personal story: for all the anti-swamp words, Devolder-Santos was once a director of an investment firm that authorities said had raised millions of dollars from its clients.
Despite running in a solid blue zone, Devolder-Santos managed to gain media attention with his atypical political identity and scathing denunciations of socialism. assembly, as well as his unwavering support of former President Donald Trump.
In January 2021, he made headlines with LGBTQ magazines and tabloid publications when he announced his fiancé had lost his job and the couple had to run away from home as a result of the scandal. New York Times linked to his Instagram in a story about a maskless New Year’s Eve party at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.
More recently, he has gained attention for first defeating Ukraine – where his grandfather was born – as a “totalitarian regime” for Washington Postand then urged prayers for the country on Fox News.
Despite all the publicity, one fact about Devolder-Santos has avoided scrutiny: The Securities and Exchange Commission charged his most recent employer, Harbor City Capital, last April. operates as a Ponzi scheme defrauding investors out of $6 million.
According to the federal complaint, the Port City has never allocated more than $449,000 of the $17.1 million it raised from customers to business expenses. Instead, the SEC said, in classic Ponzi fashion, the company used $6.5 million of that money to repay early buyers of its securities, misrepresenting those disbursements. is the return on investment rather than the money of subsequent buyers.
Meanwhile, Harbor City founder Jonathan Maroney allegedly splashed company cash on a $90,000 Mercedes, $1.35 million credit card bill, $1.6 million on a new home and renovation, plus millions more transferred to his wife and other corporate entities.
Maroney’s personal attorney, Mark O’Mara – best known for defending George Zimmerman – did not respond to repeated requests for comment. The case has entered mediation, often the premise for a settlement, and while not guilty, Maroney was forced to freeze his company assets and appoint an independent receiver to manage them.
Devolder-Santos, who became the New York area director of Harbor Capital in June 2020 but was not named in the SEC complaint, denied any knowledge of misconduct at the firm. company.
“I was just as distraught and anxious as everyone else,” he told The Daily Beast.
The candidate joined the company in the midst of his first attempt to win seats in Long Island and Queens by Suozzi, where Republicans ended up falling more than 12 points. He said he left the company on March 1 of last year, more than a month before the SEC charges were filed, after determining the work limited his political ambitions.
“I have omitted all of my obligations in 2021, and I have not done so before, and I find that has hindered my campaign success,” he said in a statement. phone interview. “So this time period I calculated in advance [and] avoid all my work activities, all board positions I have held including those for Port City and many more, so I can focus solely on the battle. translate, so I can get this campaign right and win. ”
But Devolder-Santos’ campaign website continued to refer to him as the Port City’s regional director at least as late as June last year, two months after the charges were filed, with the site web says that he “oversaw the company’s expansion in the private equity side of the business. ”
The candidate called this a “surveillance”. Speaking by phone, he also confirmed that he was “just an account manager” at the company, with no executive authority.
The campaign’s current website doesn’t include a reference to Port City, although it does detail the rest of his work history.
Despite claiming to have given up all efforts, Devolder-Santos has in fact embarked on many new business ventures over the past year.
Last May, he founded the Devolder Foundation in Florida with the help of an accountant who served as the Port City’s chief financial officer. The Devolder Foundation is in turn one of six stakeholders of Red Strategies USA, another company incorporated in the Sunshine State that same month. Five of the six companies involved in the Red Strategy belong to former Port City employees, including the former chief financial officer; ultimately belonged to the Devolder-Santos campaign treasurer. None of the individuals involved are mentioned in the SEC complaint of any alleged misconduct.
“That company is also all the survivors I have tried to help,” says Devolder-Santos. “We all started a business together, but that too has been dissolved.”
But Florida state filings show Strategy Red is an active concern, and Federal Election Commission revelations show the company continues to receive payments from Tina Forte, a QAnon challenger. friendly with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – until the end of December 2021.
The federally designated Port City account recipient told The Daily Beast they were unable to provide any information on when the company’s relationship with Devolder-Santos ended. But they note that the company currently has no employees and that its assets have been frozen since the SEC brought up the case. Devolder-Santos said he “cooperated with any information I was asked for,” although he would not confirm whether any federal agencies questioned him.
Suozzi is not seeking re-election to her seat but instead pursues a long-running bid against New York Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat. Devolder-Santos is the only Republican seeking a seat, while a bitter primary is underway on the opposite end of the aisle to replace moderate Suozzi, with seven candidates running fight for the Democratic nomination.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/george-devolder-santos-maga-house-candidate-in-new-york-haunted-by-gig-at-alleged-ponzi-scheme?source=articles&via=rss George Devolder-Santos, New York MAGA House Candidate, Obsessed with the Gig at Alleged Ponzi Scheme