The Dallas Morning News
Lawmaker accused of leading credit card skimming operation
Controversial Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., is reportedly facing new allegations that he led a criminal credit card skimming ring in the latest damaging accusation to rock the freshman Long Island lawmaker.
An ex-con former roommate of Santos told authorities that the freshman Republican was the mastermind of a 2017 identity theft scheme that they both took part in, Politico reported. “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,” Gustavo Ribeiro Trelha said in a sworn affidavit sent to investigators this week.
Trelha, a Brazilian immigrant who once lived with Santos in Florida, was convicted and served several months in prison for stealing credit cards in Seattle. He was later deported.
He now says he was afraid of fingering Santos at the time for fear of retaliation against relatives who were undocumented immigrants.
“I learned from him how to clone ATM and credit cards,” Trelha wrote in the statement. “He had a lot of material — parts, printers, blank ATM and credit cards to be painted and engraved with stolen account and personal information.”
Santos, who faces myriad probes into his checkered past and lies, denied the report as “the newest insanity” and “categorically false.” He promised to “go over it all” with journalists without elaborating.
Santos was questioned about the Seattle scheme by federal investigators but was not charged. He testified on Trelha’s behalf at his arraignment, falsely telling a judge under oath that he worked for investment bank Goldman Sachs.