George Santos Agrees to Confess, Pay $1,300 in Restitution Over Brazil Fraud Case
© AP Photo / Patrick Semansky / Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., departs Capitol Hill in WashingtonRep. George Santos, R-N.Y., departs Capitol Hill in Washington
© AP Photo / Patrick Semansky / Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., departs Capitol Hill in Washington
Officials have indicated that the Brazil case had been archived for multiple years after authorities were unable to serve papers in the case; however, it was ultimately reopened in January after the New York lawmaker began to make headlines for embellishing his resume.
Embattled US Rep. George Santos (R-NY) has reached a deal with Brazilian prosecutors that will allow him to avoid a trial if he agrees to formally admit to swindling a man out of $1,300, and pay restitution.
Santos has been accused of defrauding a Rio de Janeiro area clerk after using a stolen checkbook to purchase $1,300 worth of clothes and shoes in 2008. The freshman representative had nabbed the checkbook from an elderly man his mother cared for; something which he admitted to police in 2010.
The non-prosecution agreement was reached after his defense filed a petition in January arguing that he is now “gainfully employed” and “re-socialized.” An exception was also requested for Santos to participate in legal proceedings via phone, email and video conference.
Agreements such as the one Santos was able to secure can be reached if it is a non-violent case and the sentencing minimum is under four years. Santos has been avoiding prosecution by Brazilian authorities for about a decade since leaving Brazil for the United States.
15 March 2023, 00:23 GMT
Santos, who first shocked and enraged his constituents when he admitted to embellishing his resume while campaigning, previously claimed that he had never been charged with any crime in the US or Brazil when asked by the New York Post in December 2022.
“I am not a criminal here - not here or in Brazil or any jurisdiction in the world. Absolutely not. That didn’t happen,” he said at the time
The lawmaker, who refuses to step down from his position, is also facing several other investigations by the House Ethics Committee, the Nassau County district attorney, the New York state attorney general, the Queens district attorney and the US Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of New York.
Most recently, his former roommate Gustavo Ribeiro Trelha alleged that he orchestrated a credit card skimming operation in order to steal information from ATMs and credit cards. “Never did anything of criminal activity, and I have no mastermind event,” said Santos, denying the allegation.