Jorge Santos lied to a judge in 2017 in a bid to help a ‘family friend’ accused of fraud

“Do you work for Goldman Sachs in New York?” asked the judge.

“Yes,” Santos replied.

The New York Republican Party actually had a political future. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in a Long Island swing district last November based on a largely fabricated resume that included a claim to have worked at Goldman Sachs, one of the world’s largest investment banks.

A spokeswoman for the bank told the New York Times Its original investigation Santos’ background has no record of his employment there. Then he admitted in A New York Post interview He said he “never worked directly” for Goldman Sachs, but had “limited partnerships” with Linkbridge Investors Bank, a financial firm he works for.

Santos now faces investigations by state, federal and international agencies for a range of possible crimes, from campaign finance violations to pet charity fraud. He refused to resign from Congress despite bipartisan calls for him to step down, arguing that he had broken no laws, but that he had abandoned committee work to “continue to focus on both my personal and campaign finance investigations.”

Santos’ attorney Joe Murray did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Santos appeared at the 2017 trial on Trelha’s behalf using the full name George Anthony DeWalter Santos. He told the judge that if the defendant is released on bail, he will secure an “extended-stay apartment through Airbnb” in Seattle during the trial.

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“How do you know this man?” asked the judge.

“We are family friends. Our parents know each other from Brazil,” Santos said.

Trelha served seven months in prison and was later deported to Brazil in early 2018 and pleaded guilty to criminal access device fraud. In a phone interview, Trelha said Santos also lied about their relationship. Trelha, through an interpreter, said he met Santos in the fall of 2016 on a Facebook group for Brazilians living in Orlando, Fla., where his mother died in 2012.

Trelha eventually moved into Santos’ Winter Park, Fla., apartment in November 2016, according to a copy of the lease seen by POLITICO. After being transferred to a new position at the hospitality website HotelsPro, Santos moved south from New York City, said Lilian Cabral, who works for HotelsPro in Orlando.

A federal prosecutor who eventually handled the case described the fraud as “sophisticated,” saying Trelha’s three-day skimming spree in Seattle was only the “tip of the iceberg,” according to a court transcript. First reported by CBS News.

A person close to the investigation, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said prosecutors ultimately did not dig too deep. The man did not recall seeing any forensic reports on Trelha’s phone, and said prosecutors did not appear interested in pursuing any international or domestic co-conspirators.

New York-based lawyer Tiffany Boghossian, a former friend of Santos, helped him duck A theft charge in 2020 Santos said in a Feb. 7 interview with POLITICO that he was an “informant” in Trelha’s case, which used canceled checks to buy puppies from Amish farmers in Pennsylvania.

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Santos told Boghossian that the warrant for his arrest in the Pennsylvania case was connected to his work as an informant in the Trelha investigation, he said. Believing his story at the time, Boghossian called Seattle police detective Lawrence Meyer, who did not verify the term “informant” but confirmed that Santos had “pointed them in the right direction” and provided the names of some of the people involved in the loan. Card fraud. POLITICO could not reach the mayor to confirm the exchange.

When Trelha was arrested on April 27, he was caught on security camera removing skimming equipment from a Chase ATM on Pike Street in downtown Seattle. According to arrest documents, he had a fake Brazilian ID card and 10 fraudulent cards in his hotel room. An empty Fed-Ex package found in her rental car led police to the Winter Park apartment she shared with Santos. Drelha declined to say who sent the package from the apartment.

Trelha said his plan is to spend one week skimming numbers and creating fraudulent cards using store-bought gift cards, and another week to make maximum ATM withdrawals with pin numbers captured by skimmers and cameras he installed.

“You go at 11 p.m., you can take it to the max, and then at midnight you take the max again,” he said.

Emily Langley, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said that sometimes identity and credit card thieves collect numbers far away from home, so the stolen numbers are less likely to be linked to criminals. Langley told Politico that he had no information about Santos’ involvement in the Trelha investigation.

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Trelha said that after his arrest in Seattle, he contacted a friend who contacted Santos to help him. “He was American and spoke English, so we thought he could help me a lot,” Trelha recalled. By then, Santos had moved back north to care for his ailing mother.

“Mr. DeWalter lives in New York,” Trelha’s public defender, Virginia Branham, said at the bail hearing. “I’ve spoken with him several times over the past few weeks. This is the second time he’s been out here to help Mr. Trelha. He’s extended his Airbnb stay for Mr. Trelha while this case is pending.” arranged,” Branham said in the post.

Santos told the judge he had known Trelha for “a few years” and that they had “lost contact. [but] I reconnected in Orlando in September of last year when I moved from New York.

Santos said he is staying at the “Space Needle” hotel pending a judge’s bail decision. At the hearing, Trelha’s bail was reduced from $250,000 to $75,000 — still more than the $10,000 his attorney had requested. Trelha said he could not post bail as he did not have a local guarantee.

A Google account under the name George DeWalter posted a negative review in 2017 of a Seattle Domino’s Pizza location near the Space Needle, two miles from the King County Jail, along with reviews of Brazilian restaurants in Queens and rental car companies in Miami.

“Looked at the tracker for 1 hour and didn’t move! Very very very slow Ordered time (night) put on hold for 35 minutes with no answer!!!! Do not order from this store, not worth the increase!!!”

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