Santos Admits to Using Stolen Checks

Congressman signs confession over 2008 theft in Brazil, will pay fine to avoid prosecution
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2023 10:19 AM CDT
Santos Admits to Using Stolen Checks
Then Rep-elect George Santos, R-NY, stands in the House chamber as the House meets for the third day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Jan. 5, 2023.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

George Santos has admitted to forging stolen checks in Brazil more than a decade ago and will pay nearly $5,000 to settle the criminal case that has followed him ever since. A day after pleading not guilty to numerous financial crimes in the US, the embattled congressman appeared for a virtual hearing in the Niterói suburb of Rio de Janeiro and admitted to stealing $1,350 in clothing and shoes from a shop in 2008 when he was 19. In a signed confession, Santos said he stole the checkbook of his mother's ex-employer from her purse, then went on a shopping spree, per the AP.

An investigation was opened in 2008 and a charge of a criminal embezzlement was filed three years later. However, authorities were unable to locate Santos, resulting in the suspension of the case in 2013. It was revived when Brazilian authorities learned last year that Santos would soon be found in the US House of Representatives. As part of an agreement with public prosecutors, the case against Santos will be dropped once he pays a $2,000 fine plus $2,800 to the shopkeeper, who had to pay the value of the checks out of his own pocket, the Washington Post reports. He has 30 days to pay up. (More George Santos stories.)

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