George Santos, the Republican who fabricated much of his background on his way to winning a congressional seat in New York last month, has finally offered an explanation for the sudden influx of wealth that helped him fund his campaign. In an interview with Semafor that was published on Wednesday morning, Santos again admitted to “embellishing” his resume. Santos attributed the vast increase in income he disclosed during his 2022 race to what he described as the “capital introduction” business. That’s a markedly different story than he has told in the past.
“What I will do is I will go look out there within my Rolodex and be like: ‘Hey, are you looking for a plane?’ ‘Are you looking for a boat?’ I just put that feeler out there,” Santos told Semafor.
According to Santos, his entry into the field came during a stint at LinkBridge Investors, a firm that claims to connect investors with hedge fund managers. On its website, LinkBridge touts “closed-door programs that gather the world’s leading managers, institutional allocators and private wealth investors currently investing and fundraising across the globe.” The firm claims to have hosted symposiums in New York, Dallas, Texas, and Miami, Florida over the past year. Some talks it has hosted appear to be available on Youtube.
At LinkBridge, the New York Republican eventually became a vice president, where, according to financial disclosures he filed as part of an unsuccessful congressional campaign in 2020, he made $55,000 in salary, commission and bonuses. LinkBridge did not respond to a request for comment about Santos’ work for the firm.
Santos suggested to Semafor that he continued his work in “capital introduction” after leaving LinkBridge. After his time there, he went on to work for a firm called Harbor City, a Florida company that was described in an April 2021 SEC complaint as a “classic ponzi scheme.” Santos has denied knowing of any wrongdoing at Harbor City. He went on to found his own company, the Devolder Organization. He told Semafor that the company was involved in “deal building” for “high net worth individuals.”
“If you’re looking at a $20 million yacht, my referral fee there can be anywhere between $200,000 and $400,000,” Santos said.
The business was evidently extremely lucrative for him: In disclosure forms filed in conjunction with his campaign last year, Santos indicated he made millions at the Devolder Organization. Along with the massive salary increase, he loaned at least $580,000 to his own campaign.
Devolder Organization has multiple links to former Harbor City executives. Santos’ comments to Semafor represent a shift from his initial descriptions of the company. On his campaign site, Santos previously described Devolder, which is apparently named after his mother, as his “family firm.” Santos has not responded to multiple requests for comment from TPM.