Santos confesses to 2008 theft in Brazil: AP

Santos confesses to 2008 theft in Brazil: AP
U.S. Rep. Goerge Santos during a 2020 congressional campaign. (Photo courtesy of the Santos campaign)

U.S. Rep. George Santos, who faces a 13-count federal indictment, confessed to forging two stolen checks in Brazil 15 years ago on Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

Court documents in Brazil that were first reported by the New York Times said Santos, 19 at the time, used a fake name and the stolen checks to purchase a pair of sneakers, among other goods from a store in Niterói, located outside of Rio de Janeiro. T

Two years later, Santos confessed to the crime and was later charged, according to the Times.

Santos previously disputed those claims, telling the New York Post, “I am not a criminal here- not here or in Brazil or any jurisdiction in the world.”

On Thursday, the congressman agreed to pay 24,000 reais, or close to $5,000, to the shopkeeper and other charities, according to the Associated Press.

Santos has 30 days to pay the settlement, at which time the case will be dismissed, according to the Washington Post.

Santos’ lawyer in Brazil, Jonymar Vasconcelos, told the Associated Press Thursday that “what would have been the start of a case was ended today,” and that Santos “is no longer the subject of any case in Brazil.”

Efforts to reach officials for further comment were unavailing.

While the case against Santos in Brazil will reportedly be dismissed once the nearly $5,000 in funds are paid, the Republican congressman still faces a federal indictment that could land him in prison for 20 years, if convicted of top charges, officials said.

Santos pleaded not guilty to the 13-count indictment, which includes seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds and two counts of making materially false statements to Congress, on Wednesday.

Santos described the indictment and probe into his personal, professional and financial background as a “witch hunt,” according to the Associated Press.

“This is the beginning of the ability for me to address and defend myself,” Santos told reporters, according to the Associated Press.

Santos’ attorney, Joseph Murray, told reporters that he and his client cannot take the charges put forward by federal prosecutors lightly.

“Any time the federal government comes after you it’s a serious case,” Murray said, according to the Associated Press. “We have to take this seriously.”

His next court appearance is scheduled for June 30, according to NBC News.

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