Prosecutors: Con Man Tried to Scam George Santos

Prosecutors say Hector Medina offered several targets his services to make criminal charges vanish
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2024 4:46 PM CST
Con Man Charged With Trying to Scam George Santos
George Santos faces reporters at the Capitol on Nov. 30.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

A Texas man already convicted of fraud who was searching the internet for easy marks settled on, among other celebrities, George Santos, federal prosecutors say. The pitch was that Hector Medina Jr. could make evidence against them disappear, along with whatever criminal charges they faced. In exchange, Medina would be paid much money, an FBI affidavit says. On Wednesday, Medina was arrested in El Paso, Texas, his hometown, NBC News reports. Among the assurances he reportedly gave the disgraced former member of Congress in trying to scam him, per CNN, was "I'm the real deal."

Santos' name isn't mentioned in court documents, but the description makes his identity clear, per NBC. Three other celebrity targets are listed: an actor, a musician, and a professional athlete who face charges, had been arrested, or have a family member facing charges. The price quoted Santos, who faces fraud and other charges himself, was close to $1 million, per CNN.

There's no indication that Santos accepted such an offer, per the AP; his lawyer declined to comment on this case. Wire fraud charges await Medina in the Eastern District of New York that could bring up to 20 years in prison upon conviction. The FBI said his motivation was to pay off the more than $100,000 in gambling debts he owes. His lawyer said Medina "eagerly anticipates confronting the allegations against him." (Santos' replacement in the House was elected last month.)

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