George Santos helped broker $19M superyacht deal for donors

George Santos helped broker $19M superyacht deal for donors

Lying Long Island GOP Rep. George Santos helped broker a $19 million deal for a lavish superyacht between two of his wealthiest donors weeks before last November’s election — a sale which has drawn the attention of federal and local investigators, according to a new report.

Santos, 34, helped Long Island car dealer Raymond Tantillo purchase the 141-foot boat from Mayra Ruiz, a Miami-based Republican donor, with a $12.25 million down payment and a further $6.5 million to be paid in installments, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

The plush “Neverland” yacht, which is docked in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., features an on-deck infinity pool and waterfall. It can also host 12 guests and seven crew members.

The transaction is now being looked at by the FBI, prosecutors at the Justice Department, and the district attorney in Nassau County, which covers much of the district Santos reps in Congress.

Federal and local authorities have launched investigations into the Republican’s campaign finances and other conduct but reportedly have yet to speak with Tantillo about the exchange.

Rep. George Santos (R-NY).
Rep. George Santos helped broker a deal between two of his wealthiest donors for a lavish $19 million superyacht weeks before his November election.

Boat buyer Raymond Tantillo.
The 34-year-old pol helped Raymond Tantillo, a Long Island auto dealer, acquire the 141-foot boat from Mayra Ruiz, a Republican donor in Miami.

The yacht deal, which was finalized in September 2022, may have broken federal law if Santos accepted any commission in the form of campaign donations.

Santos’ self-reported net worth skyrocketed between his first and second runs for Congress, with the Republican claiming a jump in his annual income from $55,000 in 2020 to $750,000 in 2022.

A spokeswoman for Santos directed The Post to the congressman’s counsel, who did not respond to a request for comment. The FBI, US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, and the Nassau County district attorney’s office all declined to comment.

Santos divulged in a December interview with Semafor that he previously secured several million-dollar contracts for clients involving the sale of planes or boats as head of his company, Devolder Organization.

Rep. George Santos (R-NY).
Santos saw his net worth skyrocket between his first and second runs for Congress.
Ron Sachs – CNP

“If you’re looking at a $20 million yacht,” he said, “my referral fee there can be anywhere between $200,000 and $400,000.”

The Daily Beast revealed in December that Tantillo and Ruiz were Devolder clients. They have donated more than $17,000 and $13,700 to Santos’ campaign, respectively.

Lawyers for both donors denied any illicit financial dealings on the part of Santos when speaking with the Times.

“I have every reason to believe that Mr. Tantillo will not be charged for anything, including the purchase of a boat or campaign contributions,” said Tantillo’s attorney.

Rep. George Santos (R-NY).
Santos filed paperwork on Tuesday to run for re-election, despite the ongoing federal investigations into his finances.
CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Ruiz’s husband John, a billionaire health care and malpractice lawyer, reportedly bought the boat in 2019 from the Italian yacht maker Mangusta for 18 million euros ($18.9 million).

On Tuesday, Santos filed paperwork to run for re-election, despite the ongoing investigations into his finances as well as a House ethics probe stemming in part from lies about his background.

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