This story was reported by Scott Eidler, Paul LaRocco and Anastasia Valeeva. It was written by Eidler and LaRocco.

A director serving on a corporate board, a Jericho school board trustee, a top veterinary cardiologist, and the mayor of Sands Point, are among some of the Long Islanders Santos successfully courted during his two-year campaign to represent New York’s Third Congressional District, Newsday found.

The Congressional Campaign of George Santos benefited significantly from Long Island donors, many of them concentrated in North Shore areas such as Locust Valley, Lloyd Harbor, and Mill Neck.

Santos raised $5.5 million over the two-year election cycle — $1.2 million of which came from Nassau and Suffolk County residents, the Newsday analysis shows. Nassau residents gave close to $700,000, while about $600,00 came from individual Suffolk donors, state and federal records show.

"These are people who know how to make a deal, and how not to be swindled, you would think. They're not easy marks," said former Congressman Steve Israel, who also led the House Democrats' campaign committee.

"My own experience with donors, who were sophisticated and affluent, was that they really knew their stuff. You had to make a convincing case. They weren't easy. You know, they didn't fall prey to sound bites."

Where did George Santos' local campaign cash come from?

What George Santos' top local donors told Newsday

Matthew Bruderman, investor, chairman of Nassau Health Care Corp., public benefit corporation that runs Nassau's only public hospital

His attorney, who declined to be identified, told Newsday: “Like so many other residents of the 3rd Congressional District, Mr. Bruderman and his family were fraudulently induced to support Mr. Santos. Mr. Bruderman has formally requested the return of all funds contributed by him and members of his family in support of Mr. Santos’ candidacy. He believes strongly that this kind of deceit is deplorable, undermines public trust in our institutions and Mr. Santos should have no place in public life.”

James Metzger, president, founder and chief executive of Garden City-based Whitmore Agency, an insurance brokerage and financial services firm

A representative, who declined to be identified, told Newsday: “Mr. Metzger's contributions to George Santos were made in good faith. Congressman Santos' candidacy was offered by the NC Republican Party, as the duly nominated Republican Congressional Candidate for the NY 3rd District. Mr. Metzger believes that the misrepresentations made by Mr. Santos to all who supported his campaign demonstrated his total lack of personal integrity He also believes strongly that this kind of deceit, from any public figure, be it a Congressional Candidate to a sitting President of the United States, is unacceptable and undermines public trust in our Republic and its institutions."

Peter Forman, Mayor of Sands Point, board member of the Republican Jewish Coalition

“My wife and I have consistently supported local candidates, including Tom Suozzi and Steve Israel. We were misled by Santos’ representations and wish we knew then what we know now, as do many others.”

Robert Mangi, chief executive officer of Garden City-based Northeast Coverages Inc., a wholesale insurance brokerage firm

"The Santos circus is a cautionary tale for everyone, regardless of enrollment, ideology, or their level of campaign support. More than the personal humiliation of finding the person you thought was a Next Gen political standard bearer is, in fact, a fraud is the realization that these stunning revelations come with significant collateral damage. It will surely have a chilling effect across the political spectrum. Like the shock wave that went through the investment community when Bernie Madoff was discovered to be running a massive pyramid scheme, donors on all sides of the political aisle will now respond to requests for campaign donations with the question, “What do I really know about this person, issue, or PAC?” Going forward, assumptions about candidates will be checked at the door and due diligence will be an essential part of future campaign donations."

Iris Maidenbaum, Lawrence, told Newsday:

"Of course we feel lied to and betrayed,” Iris Maidenbaum of Lawrence, whose husband Shalom Maidenbaum runs Maidenbaum Property Tax Reduction Group, a major tax-challenge company, told Newsday.

"Our trust came from not only him as a person. But also, I guess we incorrectly assumed there was a vetting process that may have exposed this before the election,” she said.

Raymond Pensabene, of West Sayville, manager of Chevrolet in Smithtown, told Newsday:

“Who wouldn’t feel duped with this? It’s a real shame with this situation. I feel very defrauded.”

Vince Pipia of Dix Hills, told Newsday:

“Of course I feel duped and betrayed by the whole thing. You’d think there’d be a better vetting process.”

Dr. Jeff Vacirca, chief executive of Port Jefferson Station-based New York Cancer & Blood Specialists, a large oncology practice, told Newsday in a story published last week:

“I have to say, one of the best con men I’ve ever met. It’s embarrassing to admit being taken in by someone like him.”

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