Congressman George Santos said he was “innocent” Friday after a Brazilian man accused Santos of overseeing a 2017 credit card skimming operation.
Gustavo Ribeiro Trehla, identified as a former roommate of Santos, submitted a sworn statement to the FBI and other law enforcement officials that accused Santos of orchestrating a skimming scheme. The statement was later obtained and published by Politico.
In 2017, police arrested Trehla for using a credit card skimming device and camera at ATMs in Seattle to steal credit and debit card numbers and pin numbers, which were then transmitted to Brazil. After an investigation by the Seattle police and the Secret Service, Tehla pleaded guilty and was deported, according to Politico.
Trehla alleged in his statment: “The person in charge of the crime of credit card fraud when I was arrested was George Santos / Anthony Devolder.”
“Santos taught me how to skim card information and how to clone cards. He gave me all the materials and taught me how to put skimming devices and cameras on ATM machines,” Trehla continued
He then went on to say Santos visited him in jail and “threatened” his friends in Florida, some of them undocumented immigrants, if he implicated Santos. Trehla also claims that Santos stole $20,000 in cash that Trehla had saved to post bail. (RELATED: George Santos Promises To Step Down From Committees)
When questioned about Trehla’s affidavit, Santos told reporters, “I’m innocent. I never did anything of criminal activity and I’m no mastermind of anything. The story’s false,” according to Axios.
With everyone asking I’ll give a simple answer.
The newest insanity published by politico is categorically false. Any news organization willing to do good Journalism I’ll entertain sitting down with you and go over it all.
Be well and stay safe all.
— George Santos (@Santos4Congress) March 10, 2023
In response, Santos tweeted, “The newest insanity published by politico is categorically false. Any news organization willing to do good Journalism I’ll entertain sitting down with you and go over it all.”
Santos is currently under local investigation for “embellishing” a substantial portion of his resume during his 2022 congressional campaign. Santos is also being investigated by the House Ethics Committee for potential improper financial disclosures and possible violations of federal conflict of interest.