George Santos
George SantosReuters

The ex-campaign treasurer for US Rep. George Santos pleaded guilty on Thursday to conspiring to defraud the US government and implicated the indicted New York Republican in court with submitting bogus campaign finance reports, The Associated Press reports.

Nancy Marks, who was a close aide to Santos during his two congressional bids, entered the plea at a federal courthouse on Long Island, where she was a longtime political operative and bookkeeper for multiple candidates.

Speaking to the judge, Marks said that among other things, she and Santos had falsely recorded in campaign finance reports that he had loaned his campaign $500,000 even though in reality he did not make that loan and did not have the money to do so.

She said the purpose of the fake loan was to make it look like he had a well-funded campaign, which might attract other donors.

Her plea agreement comes with a recommendation that she serve 3 1/2 years to 4 years in prison.

Marks resigned as Santos’ treasurer amid growing questions about his campaign finances and revelations that the Republican had fabricated much of his life story.

In August, Santos’ former fundraiser Sam Miele was indicted on federal charges that he impersonated a high-ranking congressional aide while soliciting contributions for the New York Republican’s campaign.

Santos himself faces a 13-count federal indictment centered on charges of money laundering and lying to Congress in an earlier financial disclosure. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

A New York prosecutor launched an investigation against Santos in late December after he admitted to "embellishing" his resume.

Later, the US House Ethics Committee announced that it would investigate Santos over allegations that he lied extensively about his background and violated campaign finance laws.

Santos has remained defiant, saying he wouldn't drop his reelection bid and rejecting calls to resign.

Santos has also come under fire for falsely claiming to have Jewish heritage. The Forward had questioned a claim on Santos’ campaign website that his grandparents “fled Jewish persecution in Ukraine, settled in Belgium, and again fled persecution during WWII.”

In another story, the site noted that he had called himself a "proud American Jew" in a position paper that was shared with Jewish and pro-Israel leaders during his campaign.

Santos later maintained that he still identifies as “Jew-ish” despite reports showing that his grandparents were Catholics born in Brazil.