Prosecutors in Brazil are reopening a criminal fraud case against Republican and New York representative-elect George Santos. According to The New York Times, Brazilian authorities, until recently, had been unable to locate Santos for more than a decade.
The Times is reporting that the fraud case stems from a 2008 incident where Santos allegedly spent nearly $700 in stolen checks at a clothing store in Niterói, a city across the Guanabara Bay from Rio de Janeiro.
According to the Times, Santos admitted to the store owner of his crime in 2009. He apparently wrote on social media that he had “screwed up” and wanted to pay back what he had stolen. In 2010, Santos and his mother told police that he stole the checkbook from his mother’s former employer. Charges were approved against Santos in September 2011, but he was able to evade them when he made his way to the United States the following month.
Brazilian prosecutors are now asking the U.S. Justice Department to formally notify Santos of the charges against him.
In an interview with The New York Post last week, Santos denied there were criminal charges against him in Brazil. “I am not a criminal here – not here or in Brazil or any jurisdiction in the world,” he said. “Absolutely not. That didn’t happen.” Santos’ attorney said the Times were trying to “smear” his client with “defamatory allegations.”
The renewed charges against Santos come more than a week after he admitted to lying about several claims on his resume, including his employment and education history. He also lied about his religious background, the death of his mother, and many other details.
George Santos is currently facing two investigations stemming from the lies he created during his campaign for his house seat.