Home News George Santos confesses to theft in Brazil to keep away from prosecution

George Santos confesses to theft in Brazil to keep away from prosecution


RIO DE JANEIRO — Rep. George Santos signed a cope with Brazilian prosecutors Thursday through which the New York Republican confessed to theft and agreed to pay restitution and fines if prosecutors comply with drop the legal case in opposition to him, bringing a probable decision in a case that has tailed the embattled politician for greater than a decade.

Santos appeared just about Thursday afternoon on the legal courtroom listening to within the Rio suburb of Niterói, throughout which he was given 30 days to pay round $2,000 in fines and $2,800 to the sufferer. The case received’t be dismissed till the funds are made, courtroom officers mentioned.

“The case ended at present,” Santos lawyer Jonymar Vasconcelos mentioned in a short interview. “My consumer is now not dealing with any expenses in Brazil.”

The deal means Santos, 34, received’t need to struggle legal prosecution in two international locations. The primary-term congressman, who introduced his reelection bid final month, was indicted Wednesday within the Japanese District of New York.

Santos, who has vowed to not resign, has been accused of wide-ranging monetary crimes, together with misappropriating donor cash for his private acquire and wrongfully claiming unemployment advantages.

The case in Brazil was by no means so important.

In line with authorities, Santos, then 19, entered a small clothes retailer in Niterói referred to as the Salt in 2008 and wrote two unhealthy checks price $430 for clothes and footwear, courtroom paperwork present. The service provider quickly after went to the police and reported it, resulting in a legal embezzlement cost in opposition to Santos.

“I keep in mind as a result of I needed to pay that worth out of my very own pocket,” service provider Carlos Bruno Simões informed Folha de S.Paulo final yr.

Simões attended the Thursday listening to, which lasted lower than a half-hour. He mentioned he was dissatisfied in how little Santos might be compelled to pay him.

“He received off tremendous low-cost,” he mentioned.

In the USA, the monetary crimes Santos is charged with are way more substantial. Wire fraud, essentially the most critical cost, carries a penalty of as much as 20 years in jail, although consultants mentioned a penalty that extreme was unlikely.

“I feel it might be between 24 and 48 months,” mentioned Chris Mattei, former chief of the monetary fraud and public corruption unit of the U.S. legal professional’s workplace for the District of Connecticut.

The extent of the monetary losses led to by the alleged wrongdoing — which Mattei estimated at about $75,000 — means Santos is unlikely to face many years behind bars, Mattei mentioned. However the case in opposition to the congressman is powerful, the previous federal prosecutor mentioned: “I feel he’s in quite a lot of hassle.”

At a federal courthouse Wednesday on Lengthy Island, Santos relinquished his passports and was launched on $500,000 bond. He’ll want permission for any journey past New York and Washington. On Twitter, he referred to as the proceedings a “witch hunt,” echoing the language of former president Donald Trump, who was additionally not too long ago indicted in New York. And Santos sought contributions for his marketing campaign committee, which he mentioned would “maintain me preventing for you!”

On Thursday, he dodged questions posed to him on Capitol Hill, merely replying, “That’s inaccurate,” when requested why he had obtained about $24,000 in unemployment advantages for which prosecutors say he was ineligible.

Along with his federal case in New York, Santos additionally faces a probe by the Home Ethics Committee. The panel introduced in March that it was investigating a number of claims concerning the Republican lawmaker involving his previous enterprise practices, marketing campaign finance expenditures and an allegation of sexual misconduct.

Stanley-Becker reported from Washington. Mariana Alfaro in Washington contributed to this report.


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