GOP’s George Santos Charged With Stealing Checkbook, Making Fraudulent Purchases In Brazil
Newly elected New York congressman George Santos, who is under fire for lying multiple times about his background on the campaign trail, is now has been charged by authorities in Brazil for stealing a checkbook and making fraudulent purchases, The New York Times reports.
Citing Brazilian prosecutors, the newspaper reported that Santos in 2008 used a stolen checkbook and false name to make at least $700 in fraudulent purchases at a clothing store in the city of Niterói.
Charges were put on hold when officials in the country couldn’t locate Santos. With his “whereabouts identified,” however, the court process will continue, the Rio de Janeiro prosecutor’s office told The Times.
Santos, who is accused of misleading voters about his career, family, and educational history, has denied any wrongdoing.
“I am not a criminal here — not here or in Brazil or any jurisdiction in the world,” Santos told the New York Post in December. “Absolutely not. That didn’t happen.”
However, he previously admitted to the fraud, the New York Times reported.
“I know I screwed up, but I want to pay,” Santos wrote on the social media site Orkut in 2009, and told police in 2010 that he and his mother stole the checkbook from his mother’s former employer and used it to make fraudulent purchases.
The New York attorney general’s office said in December it is “looking into a number of issues” surrounding the congressman-elect, who takes office on Tuesday. And the federal US attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York is also probing Mr Santos’s finances and financial disclosure filings.
The Santos campaign raised eyebrows after the candidate claimed he loaned himself $700,000, after previously disclosing no assets and a $55,000 salary as recently as 2020.
“George Santos, a former call center employee falling behind on his rent, lent his campaign a staggering $705,000. Where did all that money come from?” New York representative Ritchie Torres wrote on Twitter last month. “The Ethics Committee MUST start investigating immediately.”
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