A former roommate of Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) accused the Republican on Wednesday of being a ringleader in a credit card fraud scheme in 2017.
The accusation, part of a sworn declaration by Gustavo Ribeiro Trelha sent to federal officials and first reported by Politico, names the lawmaker as the one “in charge of the crime” in Seattle that Trelha was ultimately convicted for.
Santos denied the claim.
In the declaration, Trelha said he knew Santos as Anthony Devolder ― the name Santos used before he ran for Congress ― and that they lived together in Florida. He said Santos taught him 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,” Trelha said.
He said in his declaration that Santos had a warehouse in Orlando, Florida, that stored “a lot of material,” including “parts, printers, blank ATM and credit cards.”
Trelha was arrested after being caught on camera taking a skimming device off an ATM in Seattle, according to police. He said in his declaration that Santos stole money that he collected for his bail.
Trelha pleaded guilty to felony access device fraud and served three months in prison before being deported to Brazil in early 2018, Politico reported in February.
Santos was questioned about the ATM skimming case but not named as a subject, according to a CBS News report last month. The case reportedly remains open.
The latest allegation comes after the House Ethics Committee launched a probe into Santos last week, an investigation that joins a number of others into the congressman.
Santos slammed Politico’s reporting in a tweet on Thursday night.
“With everyone asking I’ll give a simple answer. The newest insanity published by politico is categorically false,” Santos wrote. “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.”