New York

New York Times: Brazilian authorities intend to revive fraud case against George Santos


Police officials in Brazil are likely to reopen fraud allegations against US Representative-elect George Santos as the New York Republican officially assumes his role in the US House of Representatives on Tuesday, amid a cloud of suspicion over his dubious resume, the New York Times reported on Monday.

According to the Times, prosecutors said they would want a “formal response” from Santos in connection with a stolen checkbook in 2008 after police suspended an investigation into him after being unable to locate him for nearly a decade.

After authorities verify Santos’ whereabouts, they will make a formal request to the Justice Department to inform him of the charges, Nathaly Ducoulombier, a spokeswoman for the Rio de Janeiro State Attorney’s Office, told the Times.

CNN has reached out to an attorney for Santos for comment.

The criminal case stems from a visit by Santos to a small clothing store in Niterói, a town outside of Rio de Janeiro, where Santos spent nearly $700 from the stolen checkbook with one, according to the Times, citing court records she reviewed wrong name.

CNN previously confirmed a report in the Times last month that Santos was charged with embezzlement in a Brazilian court in 2011, according to case files from the Rio de Janeiro Court of Justice. However, court records from 2013 say the charges were filed after the court’s subpoena went unanswered and they were unable to locate Santos.

In an interview with the New York Post last week, Santos denied he had been charged with any crime in Brazil, saying, “I’m not a criminal here — not here, or in Brazil, or in any jurisdiction in the world. Absolutely not. That didn’t happen.”

Santos overturned a Democrat-held seat and helped Republicans win a narrow majority in the House of Representatives. And he is scheduled to take office on Tuesday.

The New York Republican has admitted to lying about parts of his resume after the New York Times reported on March 19.

CNN confirmed details of that coverage of his college education and professional history, and uncovered more untruths from Santos, including claims that he was forced to leave a private school in New York City when his family’s real estate fortunes took a downturn and at he Goldman Sachs represented a top financial conference.

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

In interviews with WABC Radio and the New York Post on Dec. 26, Santos admitted to lying about attending Baruch College and New York University and misrepresenting his tenure at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, but said he always had back then yet to serve in Congress.

Two days later, CNN reported that the US Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York had begun investigating the finances of Santos, who is facing questions about his assets and loans totaling more than $700,000 he made for his successful 2022 campaign.

On the same day, the Nassau County Attorney’s Office announced that it was also investigating counterfeit Santos.

“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.

Prosecutors did not say which forgeries were being investigated, and the US Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York declined to comment.

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

Santos’ FEC reports reveal a number of unusual expenses, including exorbitant spending on air travel and hotels, as well as a number of expenses a penny below the dollar amount above which the FEC campaigns to retain receipts.

“Campaign expenses for employees, including travel, room and board, are normal expenses of a competent campaign. The suggestion that the Santos campaign was involved in improper spending of campaign funds is irresponsible at best,” Santos attorney Joe Murray said in a statement to CNN on Saturday.

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