US Rep. George Santos (R-NY), who has become embroiled in controversy for a series of lies he told - including that his family is Jewish and survived the Holocaust - was accused of orchestrating a credit card fraud operation in 2017 in a sworn statement submitted to federal authorities Wednesday by the man who was convicted of the fraud, Politico reported on Friday.
The man who wrote the statement, Gustavo Ribeiro Trelha, was deported to Brazil after his conviction.
He contacted law enforcement after seeing Santos on TV, according to the report.
“I am coming forward today to declare that the person in charge of the crime of credit card fraud when I was arrested was George Santos / Anthony Devolder.”Sworn declaration by Gustavo Ribeiro Trelha
“I am coming forward today to declare that the person in charge of the crime of credit card fraud when I was arrested was George Santos/Anthony Devolder,” read the statement, which Trelha's attorney Mark Demetropoulos mailed to the FBI, the Secret Service New York office and the US Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York.
“Santos taught me how to skim card information and how to clone cards,” Trelha said. “He gave me all the materials and taught me how to put skimming devices and cameras on ATM machines.”
Trelha and Santos met in 2016 on a Facebook group for Brazilians living in Orlando, Florida, Trelha said in the statement and told Politico.
Trelha eventually rented a room in Santos' apartment.
“That is when and where I learned from him how to clone ATM and credit cards,” he said.
“Santos gave me at his warehouse, some of the parts to illegally skim credit card information. Right after he gave me the card skimming and cloning machines, he taught me how to use them,” he added.
Alleged Ponzi scheme
Last month, Tiffany Bogosian, a former classmate of Santos', alleged that he had tried to target her client in a Ponzi scheme.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission shuttered the company Santos worked for at the time for "ongoing, fraudulent Ponzi schemes victimizing hundreds of investors across the United States."