Rep. George Santos’ former campaign treasurer pleaded guilty Thursday to a single count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, about eight months after she did so resigned amid extensive allegations of brazen and seemingly endless financial irregularities on the part of her truth-hating boss.
Nancy Marks entered the plea around 4 p.m. in the same federal courthouse in Central Islip, New York, where Santos pleaded not guilty in May to a 13-count indictment charging him with wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds and making false statements accused Congress. Prosecutors say they have amassed a sum so far more than 80,000 pages of materials to be used as evidence against Santos.
Marks accused Santos in court, telling a judge that under her leadership the Republican submitted false campaign finance reports to make it appear he had more donors than he actually had Associated Press reported.
Her plea comes with a recommendation that she serve between three and a half and four years in prison. That’s slightly less than the maximum sentence of five years for the charge to which she pleaded guilty. A sentencing date was not immediately set.
Raymond Perini, Marks’ attorney, did not respond to a request for comment Thursday. In an email, Santos defense attorney Joe Murray declined to comment to The Daily Beast about Marks’ settlement.
Marks, 58, has long been a well-known figure in Long Island political circles and has played a key role in numerous Republican campaigns in the past. Santos’ campaign documents, among other things, attracted intense scrutiny The official cost is exactly $199.99, one cent below the threshold at which federal law requires candidates to keep receipts. In 2020, unsuccessful New York gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin also ran Inquiries about a series of similar payments totaling $199.99. His campaign treasurer at the time? None other than Nancy Marks.
Markings resigned from her position at Santos on Jan. 25, and the freshman representative immediately announced he had hired a replacement. However, the man he claimed conned him into filling Marks’ position told the press he never agreed to take the job. Santos tried to blame Marks for all the financial shenanigans, insisting that the veteran adviser had gone “villain” behind his back.
Not a CPA, Marks “taught herself election law and used the contacts she made as a low-level Suffolk County employee and political volunteer to become a central point of contact for candidates’ needs.” accordingly The New York Times. She also worked for at least one candidate who was seen during the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. GOP also ran for Tina Forte.
Marks, who operates out of her home in Shirley, New York, not only keeps the books for conservative PACs like God, Guns, Life and Veterans for MAGA, but also prints lawn signs for Santos and other right-wing politicians. A Just A review of official records found that Marks’ politically-focused ventures brought in at least $3.3 million between 2009 and 2022.
Santos has managed to surround himself with a clique of checkered ne’er-do-wells. As The Daily Beast first reported, Santos operations manager Vish Burra faced disciplinary action earlier this year for threatening a freelance journalist who had reported critically about his boss.
“This type of behavior is unacceptable from anyone, let alone a congressional staffer,” Naysa Woomer, Santos’ communications director, told The Daily Beast at the time.
Woomer, a veteran lawmaker, resigned in May, shortly after Santos was indicted on federal fraud charges. On the way out, Woomer wrote a scathing letter to the embattled congressman in which she said she was “honored” to leave the office of a man who “has not followed a single point of professional advice.”