Rep. Jorge Santos on Friday dismissed fraud charges against a convicted Brazilian man who the New York Republican said was the mastermind behind a credit card skimming scheme in 2017.
“I’m innocent, I’ve never been involved in any crime, I’m not the mastermind of anything,” Santos said when asked by reporters. Affidavit Retrieved from Gustavo Ribeiro Trelha Politics And published on Thursday. “The story is false.”
Camper He confessed to the crime He was indicted in federal court in Seattle in 2017 for “access device fraud” for fraud involving a card skimmer that removed card numbers and passwords from ATMs. He spent about six months in prison before being extradited back to Brazil, court records show.
According to court filings, Trelha told police at the time of his arrest that he was installing skimming devices and then sending the recorded information to the operation’s leaders in Brazil.
In an affidavit allegedly obtained by the FBI and Secret Service on March 7, Trelha said Santos was her accomplice and taught her how to clone ATMs and credit cards and use skimming devices.
The Secret Service confirmed to NBC News that it had obtained Trelha’s sworn statement, but declined further comment.
When reached for comment, an FBI spokesperson said: “As is our usual practice, the FBI does not confirm or deny or otherwise comment on information we may or may not receive from the public.”
Santos’ involvement in the ATM fraud case was first reported CBS News.
In his affidavit, Trelha said, “I am coming forward today to declare that George Santos is the person responsible for the credit card fraud when I was arrested,” noting that he had recently seen Santos on television.
Since being elected in November, Santos has admitted to lying about his background, his finances have been the subject of multiple law enforcement investigations and he is being investigated by the House Ethics Committee.
In response to questions about the ATM charges, Santos said, “I’ve been an asset to law enforcement in Seattle. I’ve helped them with this case. I’ve helped them bring down a lot of criminals, and I’m very proud of that.”
He also said he spoke with unidentified law enforcement in Seattle on Thursday. Asked by NBC News if he had been assured he would not be charged in the case, he said, “I have not.”
“I talked to them about the case. We were closing the case yesterday. I’m not guaranteed anything, but I’m very confident that I can fight this. It’s very easy,” he said on Friday.
The FBI field office in Seattle said it “does not comment on the roles of informants in their investigations.”
An attorney who assisted with Trelha’s affidavit did not respond to a request for comment.