CHECK MATE: Shady Santos stole what from whom?
Representative-Elect George Santos (R-NY) has admitted, both to police in 2010 and to a victim in 2009, that he stole a checkbook from his mother’s purse to make a purchase totaling over $1300 in Brazil.
If stealing from his own mother isn’t awful enough, though, it gets worse — Santos’ mother was working as a home health aide, and the checkbook belonged not to her, but to an ailing client.
It’s not clear what Delio da Camara da Costa Alemao was suffering that required the assistance of a home health aide, but the stolen checks were used in 2008, and Santos’ mother did not admit to police that the checkbook had been taken from her purse until November of 2010 — when the client had been dead for a year. When she confronted Santos, he told her he’d torn the remaining checks up and tossed them down a manhole.
In the meantime, another innocent bystander reportedly became the second victim of the theft, when the store clerk was held responsible for the purchases Santos is accused of making with the stolen checks. In fact, screenshots the clerk handed to police show a conversation he says he had with Santos in 2009, after finding him on social media, in which Santos seems to confess and agree to reimburse him.
Documents also indicate that Santos admitted guilt in a police interview after his mother implicated him. However, he then apparently left the country, and in 2011, documents indicate that police attempted and failed to deliver a summons to his last known address. CNN reports on police documents they’ve obtained:
‘He [Santos] acknowledged having been responsible for forging the signatures on the checks, also confirming that he had destroyed the remaining checks,’ authorities wrote in an inquiry report about Santos. The document containing the confession was signed by Santos on November 18, 2010.
In fact, according to Talking Points Memo, Santos fled the country only a month after a judge approved the charge against him — and when he couldn’t be located, the statute of limitations was suspended to allow the case to be reopened if the accused was later located.
Santos denies everything, but now that his location is confirmed, authorities in Brazil are expected to reopen the case and make a formal request for the U.S. Justice Department to officially give the Representative-elect notice of the charges.
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Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.