(NEW YORK) — Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., was interviewed by U.S. Secret Service agents in 2017 as part of an ATM fraud investigation that targeted a friend of his, sources familiar with the case told ABC News.
According to the sources, the case began when police in Seattle spotted an individual removing a device from a bank ATM known as a card skimmer, which is used to secretly steal users’ ATM card information.
That individual, Gustavo Ribeiro Trelha, had been living in a Seattle hotel where authorities subsequently found multiple card-skimming devices, sources said.
The shipping address on the packaging for some of those items was the same address where Santos lived in Florida, the sources said.
It’s not known whether Santos was ever pursued as a target of the investigation, but Secret Service agents based in Orlando, Florida ended up interviewing him as part of the case, the sources said, confirming a development first reported by CBS News.
Trelha was ultimately convicted and sentenced on charges related to ATM-skimming and turned over to immigration authorities for deportation to Brazil — but not before Santos appeared in a Seattle courtroom on his friend’s behalf.
According to Politico, which first obtained audio of the hearing, Santos told the judge that he worked for Goldman Sachs in New York.
“I am an aspiring politician and I work for Goldman Sachs,” Santos said, according to the audio recording.
“You work for Goldman Sachs in New York?” the judge asked.
“Yup,” Santos responded.
As ABC News has previously reported, Santos did not work for the firm, as he later conceded in an interview with the New York Post. Instead, he claimed that a firm where he did work had partnerships with Goldman Sachs.
On Friday, Santos that he will comply “100%” with a House Ethics Committee investigation into numerous allegations against the freshman Republican. He did not address the ATM probe.
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