Rep.-elect George Santos, the truth-challenged Long Island Republican who spun a web of lies about his career and educational background, admitted to stealing a man’s checkbook to buy clothing and shoes in Brazil more than a decade ago, according to a report on Wednesday.
Santos admitted to police in 2010 that he stole the checkbook from his mom’s purse and used “some sheets” to buy the goods at a shop in Niterói, a city outside of Rio de Janeiro, on June 17, 2008, CNN reported, citing case documents.
Santos’ mom, Fatima A.C.H. Devolder, had been a nurse for the man — Delio da Camara da Costa Alemao, who has since died — and had his checkbook in her purse.
Santos told police that he forged the man’s signature on two checks that he used to buy $1,313.63 worth of merchandise, CNN said.
In making the purchases, Santos used an identification card with the checkbook’s owner’s name and a picture of himself, the report added.
He told police that his mother didn’t learn about the theft until roughly a month later and pleaded “with despair” for him to return the checkbook, but he said he had ripped up the remaining checks.
According to the police records, Santos told police he was an American who had dual citizenship and was a professor.
“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, CNN said.
Santos signed the confession on Nov. 18, 2010.
Police put their investigation into Santos on hold after they were unable to reach him for nearly a decade, but law enforcement officials in Brazil told CNN that they will reinstate fraud charges against him after allegations surfaced last month that he fabricated whole elements of his past.
Among the collection of falsehoods are that Satnos attended New York University and Baruch College, that he worked at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, that his grandparents escaped the Holocaust, that he was Jewish, that his mother died in the 9/11 terror attacks at the World Trade Center, that he founded a charity for rescued dogs and cats, and that he owned a number of rental properties.
He copped to the bevy of lies in an interview with The Post Dec. 26, but insisted that he is “not a criminal” and that the dishonesty will not “deter” him from serving in the House.
“My sins here are embellishing my resume. I’m sorry,” Santos, who was elected in the Nov. 8 midterms to represent a district that stretches between Long Island and Queens, told The Post.
He attempted to explain away the long list of untruths, and, perhaps most notably, tried to clarify his comments about being Jewish.
“I never claimed to be Jewish,” Santos said. “I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background I said I was ‘Jew-ish.’”
In the interview with The Post, Santos also denied that he faced any criminal charges in Brazil.
“I am not a criminal here — not here or in Brazil or any jurisdiction in the world,” Santos said. “Absolutely not. That didn’t happen.”
Santos was in the US Capitol on Tuesday, waiting to be sworn-in to office and dodging questions from reporters.
Pictured sitting alone in the chamber, Santos is already the subject of a number of investigations by local, state and federal prosecutors.