Brazilian authorities intend to revive fraud case against George Santos


Washington
CNN

Law enforcement officials in Brazil will reinstate fraud charges against Representative-elect George Santos, the Rio de Janeiro prosecutor’s office tells CNN, as the New York Republican officially assumes his role in the House of Commons. United States on Tuesday under a cloud of suspicion over his dodgy resume.

Prosecutors said they would seek a “formal response” from Santos regarding a stolen checkbook in 2008, after police suspended an investigation into him because they could not find him for nearly a decade.

Authorities, after verifying Santos’ location, will make a formal request to the US Department of Justice notifying them of the charges, Maristela Pereira, spokeswoman for the Rio de Janeiro prosecutor’s office, told CNN. The prosecutor’s office told CNN the request will be filed when it reopens on Friday.

CNN previously confirmed that Santos was charged with embezzlement by a Brazilian court in 2011, according to Rio de Janeiro Court of Justice records. However, court records from 2013 indicate that the prosecution was filed after court summonses went unanswered and they were unable to locate Santos.

CNN has reached out to a Santos attorney for comment. The reinstatement of the fraud charges was first reported by The New York Times.

According to the Times, citing court records it reviewed, the criminal case stems from a visit Santos made to a small clothing store in Niterói, a town outside of Rio de Janeiro, where Santos spent nearly $700 on the stolen checkbook using a fake name.

In an interview with the New York Post last week, Santos denied being charged with any crime in Brazil, saying: “I am not a criminal here – not here or in Brazil or in any jurisdiction in the world. Absolutely. No. This did not happen.

Santos, who helped Republicans win a narrow House majority last year when he flipped a seat held by Democrats, is set to take office on Tuesday despite admitting he lied on parts of his resume. after the New York Times first revealed that Santos’ biography appeared to be partly fictional.

CNN confirmed the details of these reports about his college education and work history and uncovered even more lies from Santos, including claims that he was forced to leave a private school in New York when his family’s real estate assets collapsed and that he represented Goldman Sachs at a major financial conference.

Santos’ claims that his grandparents fled the Holocaust as Ukrainian Jewish refugees and that his mother died after being present in the South Tower during 9/11 have also come under scrutiny. , found CNN’s KFile.

In interviews with WABC radio and the New York Post on December 26, Santos admitted to lying about his attendance at Baruch College and New York University as well as misrepresenting his employment at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. , but said at the time that he still intended to serve in Congress.

Two days later, CNN reported that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York had begun investigating the finances of Santos, who faces questions about his wealth and loans totaling more than $700,000. he consented for his successful 2022 campaign.

That same day, the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office announced that it was also reviewing Santos’ fabrications.

“No one is above the law and if a crime has been committed in this county, we will prosecute it,” Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly said at the time.

The district attorney’s office did not specify which fabrications it was exploring, and the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York declined to comment.

CNN reached out to a representative for Santos to comment on the probes.

Santos’ FEC reports contain a number of unusual expenses, including exorbitant expenses for air travel and hotels, as well as a number of expenses a penny below the dollar figure above which the FEC requires campaigns to keep receipts.

“Campaign expenses for staff members, including travel, accommodation and meals, are normal expenses of any competent campaign. The suggestion that the Santos campaign has engaged in illegal spending of campaign funds is irresponsible at best,” Santos attorney Joe Murray said in a statement to CNN on Saturday.

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