Former Republican lawmaker George Santos has quickly found a way to make more money than he earned as a politician. 

Since his expulsion from Congress earlier this month, the embattled ex-member of the House has turned to Cameo, an app where celebrities and even disgraced public figures can charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars to record short, personalized video messages. Santos has been charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and credit card fraud.

The erstwhile representative, who on the app calls himself a “Former congressional ‘Icon’!” along with a painted fingernail emoji and describes himself as “The expelled member of Congress from New York City,” is currently charging $400 per video. 

He’s raised his rate since he first appeared on the platform Monday. Cameo founder and CEO Steven Galanis told CBS MoneyWatch. 

“When he first came on he’d priced himself at $75 because he didn’t have anyone assisting him. He limited his available quantity to 150 and sold out right away,” Cameo founder and CEO Steven Galanis told CBS MoneyWatch. 

On Cameo, which was founded six years ago, more than 50,000 performers set their own rates. Fans can purchase videos to send to friends as gifts for any occasion. By comparison, actor Jim Belushi charges $100, and actor and SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher charges $999.

Santos gradually upped his price, which is now set at $400 for a video that can take as little as one minute to record. 

According to Galanis, Santos has booked enough Cameo videos to earn six figures exceeding the $174,000 salary he earned when he was a member of Congress. He’ll pocket the money once he delivers the videos to their recipients. 

“Assuming he can get through the videos, he will exceed what he made in Congress last year. He’s been booked to that extent — he still needs to do the work,” Galanis said, adding that Santos becomes more popular by the day. 

“The response has been amazing, and he’s getting even more popular as the days go on,” Galanis said. 

Santos is on track to becoming one of the platform’s best performers ever, according to Cameo. 

Galanis attributes Santos’ success to recent media coverage — albeit negative — around him, as well as the quality of Santos’ videos. 

“He’s so in the news right now and the people who have done best in Cameo history have been in the zeitgeist at the moment,” Galanis said.

George Santos is recording short videos on Cameo, charging $400 a pop. 

Cameo


Fans who’d purchased videos seem pleased, writing comments such as, “This is gold!! Hope you’re enjoying your new gig,” and “Fantastic job – quick turnaround and great quality that exceeded my expectations” on Santos’ profile. 

Democratic Sen. John Fetterman is among Santos’ customers. His campaign paid Santos to record a Cameo video trolling Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey.

In the video, Santos tells “Bobby” to not get “bogged down by all the haters out there.” 

Fetterman has been calling on Menendez, whom the Justice Department has accused of conspiring to act as a foreign agent for Egypt, to resign. Menendez has refused to do so. 

Unemployed actors turned to the platform for fast cash during the SAG-AFTRA strike. 

Signups on the app rose 137% in July, Cameo CEO Galanis told CBS MoneyWatch at the time. 

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