George Santos Says He Founded His Company While in Middle School

Representative George Santos has claimed he founded the Devolder Organization, his company which he said paid him $750,000 in salary, in 2001, when he would have been aged just 12 or 13.

The embattled Republican, who is facing questions about his campaign finances, made the claim on Thursday during an appearance on the conservative Newsmax network.

Santos insisted all his election funding was "obtained through legitimate reasons and channels." Asked for details on how he acquired the wealth to make big loans to his campaign, the New York congressman replied: "Devolder Organization was founded in 2001 when I stepped away from my previous employment, and I decided to go on my own to do exactly what I did for other companies for years which is capital introduction relationship management of high-net-worth individuals."

George Santos leaving a Capitol Hill meeting
Rep. George Santos (R-NY) leaving a GOP caucus meeting on Capitol Hill on January 25, 2023 in Washington, DC. On Thursday Santos claimed he founded his company, the Devolder Organization, in 2001 when he would have been just 12 or 13 years old. Anna Moneymaker/GETTY

According to the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress, which has held information on members of Congress since 1859, Santos was born on July 22, 1988.

This means Santos would have been either 12 or 13 in 2001, when he claims to have founded the Devolder Organization.

Newsweek has contacted Rep. Santos asking for proof he founded the Devolder Organization while in middle school.

The Devolder Organization was incorporated in Florida in May 2021, according to the opencorporates website.

Pressure on Santos increased last month, after an investigation by Mother Jones couldn't find any evidence of "more than a dozen" of those the Republican listed as his campaign donors actually existing.

On January 24, the Santos campaign updated its campaign finance report, with experienced Capitol Hill operative Thomas Datwyler listed as his treasurer.

However, Datwyler's attorney later insisted he had turned down the post, with his signature being used without permission.

Last week Santos was accused of sexual harassment by Derek Myers, who claimed the New York Republican grabbed his groin without consent whilst he was volunteering in his congressional office last month. Myers said he had reported his allegation to the United States Capitol Police, and the House Committee on Ethics.

Speaking to Newsweek Myers said: "Sexual assault is not something anyone should be subjected [to]; no matter the level. There are victims of violent assaults who have to live with trauma everyday for the rest of their lives because they were taken advantage [of].

"My brush with assault was non-violent and my thoughts are with those who have to live with nightmares from their horrific experiences. No one, no matter the extent should be violated."

Santos told a CNN reporter he "100 percent" refutes the claims against him, adding: "It's comical. Of course, I deny that claim."