Rio de Janeiro (Associated Press) — The day after New York Congressman George Santos He has pleaded not guilty to charges in the United States, but on Thursday signed an agreement with Brazilian prosecutors to avoid prosecution for forging two checks stolen in 2008.
“What was supposed to be the beginning of the lawsuit ended today,” Jonimar Vasconcelos, a lawyer for Mr. Santos in Brazil, told The Associated Press in a text message. “Therefore, my client is not subject to any lawsuits in Brazil.”
Asked about the details of the non-prosecution agreement, Vasconcelos countered by citing the fact that the case was conducted in secret. The Rio de Janeiro state public prosecutor’s office also declined to comment when contacted by the Associated Press.
Brazilian court records, first revealed by The New York Times, found Santos criminally charged with using two stolen checks at a store in Niterói to buy sneakers and other items he gave to friends as gifts. has been shown to have been the subject of . Santos must have been 19 at the time, according to prosecutors who were indicted in 2011. His purchases totaled 2,144 Brazilian reals, or about $1,350 at the time, according to prosecutors who were indicted in 2011.
An investigation was then launched in 2008, in which Santos signed a confession stating that he stole the checkbooks of his mother’s former employer from her mother’s purse, made purchases, including in the store, and that the fraudulent checks were signed by him. I acknowledged that I was According to court documents reviewed by the Associated Press.
A judge accepted the charges against Santos in 2011, but subsequent subpoenas asking him to appear personally or file an affidavit went unanswered, and authorities repeatedly questioned his whereabouts. The case was closed in 2013 because it could not be identified. After winning a seat in Congress, media attention focused on his dubious career. The Rio state prosecutor then moved to reopen the case.
Under the terms of the non-prosecution agreement, Santos will pay 24,000 reais (about $5,000), most of it to shopkeepers who received bad checks, and the rest to charity, Folha de São Paulo newspaper reported. However, he did not disclose how he got it. information. Santos attended the meeting virtually, according to the paper.
A resolution of the case would eliminate the possibility that Santos would have been forced to travel to another country to settle pending charges.Things may have been complicated by being forced to surrender his passport after being recently indicted in the US.
Wednesday in New York Santos pleads not guilty He was charged with stealing from campaigns and lying to Congress that he was a billionaire while collecting undeserved unemployment benefits.