George Santos Settles Brazilian Check Fraud Case—As U.S. Fraud Charges Loom
George Santos, a Republican congressional candidate from New York, has settled a check fraud case in Brazil while facing fraud charges in the United States. Santos agreed to pay $90,000 to the Brazilian Federal Police as part of a plea deal after being arrested in Brazil in 2016 for allegedly depositing $14 million in fake checks into a Brazilian bank account.
According to the Brazilian authorities, Santos was part of a group that deposited the fake checks into several Brazilian bank accounts and then transferred the funds to accounts in the United States. Santos was arrested in Brazil, along with another American citizen, on charges of criminal association and use of false documents. The other American was deported from Brazil, but Santos was allowed to return to the United States after paying a $25,000 bail.
Santos, who is running for the House of Representatives in New York’s 3rd Congressional District, has denied any wrongdoing and said that he was a victim of a scam. However, he has acknowledged that he deposited the fake checks into his bank account, claiming that he believed the checks were legitimate.
In addition to the Brazilian case, Santos is also facing fraud charges in the United States. In 2019, he was indicted by a grand jury in New York for allegedly defrauding investors in a real estate investment scheme. According to the indictment, Santos and his co-conspirators raised $16 million from investors by making false promises about the returns on the investment.
Santos has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has said that he will fight the allegations. He is currently free on $100,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court in June.
The settlement of the Brazilian case is unlikely to have any impact on the U.S. case, but it does highlight Santos’ legal troubles as he campaigns for public office. Santos’ opponents have criticized him for his legal problems and have called on him to withdraw from the race. However, Santos has refused to drop out of the race and has said that he will continue to fight for the people of his district.
The case is also a reminder of the risks of investing in real estate and the importance of doing due diligence before investing in any scheme. Investors should always be wary of promises of high returns and should research the background of the people behind the investment.
In conclusion, the settlement of the Brazilian case is a small victory for Santos, but it does not resolve his legal problems. He still faces fraud charges in the United States and will have to defend himself against those charges in court. The case also serves as a cautionary tale for investors and highlights the importance of doing due diligence before investing in any scheme.