The Dallas Morning News

Lawmaker accused of leading credit card skimming operation

- By DAVE GOLDINER New York Daily News

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.


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