According to the New York Times, George Santos, the scandal-plagued GOP Rep.-elect from New York, is facing potential criminal prosecution in two different countries.
The report alleges that law enforcement authorities in Brazil are planning to reopen a fraud case from 15 years ago involving Santos. The case had been shelved because Brazilian police had been unable to find Santos for many years. He came back under the radar of prosecutors when he got elected to congress last year and big chunks of his life story were exposed as having been fabricated.
The Times reports:
“Nathaly Ducoulombier, a spokeswoman for the Rio de Janeiro’s prosecutors office, said that with Mr. Santos’s ‘whereabouts identified,’ a formal request will be made to the U.S. Justice Department to notify him of the charges, a necessary step after which the case will proceed with or without him.”
According to an earlier report from the Times, Santos is accused of using a fake name and a stolen checkbook to purchase over $1000 worth of clothes at a boutique in the Brazilian city of Niterói.
Officials in Brazil also have proof of Santos admitting to the crime to the owner of the checkbook on a social media app, telling the person he knew he “screwed up” and promised to repay the funds.
His problems don’t stop with Brazilian prosecutors, as some in America across multiple jurisdictions are investigating him for allegedly funding his congressional campaign with payments funneled through one of his own limited liability corporations, which is illegal.
Santos denies any criminal wrongdoing, but has admitted that many parts of his life story shared publicly were fabricated.
Back in 2010, at the time of the crime, Santos confessed, saying that he stole the checkbook from his mom’s purse and that he used “some sheets” to buy things. Santos confessed to forging the man’s signature on two of the checks to purchase clothes and shoes costing approximately $1,313.63.
Santos said his mother learned of the stolen checks a month after he took them, and asked him “with despair” to return the checkbook, but he said that he had already ripped up the remaining checks and had thrown them in a manhole.
A police document including a signed confession from Santos said that “He [Santos] acknowledged having been responsible for forging the signatures on the checks, also confirming that he had destroyed the remaining checks.”