Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) has signed an agreement with public prosecutors in Brazil, avoiding prosecution in a 15-year-old fraud case.
Santos’ lawyer in Brazil, Jonymar Vasconcelos, confirmed to the Associated Press that the freshman congressman is no longer the subject of any case in Brazil.
The Washington Post also reported that Santos confessed to the theft and agreed to pay restitution and fines in exchange for dropping the criminal charges.
Reports had surfaced back in March indicating Santos and the prosecutors had reached a deal. Vasconcelos didn’t share more details about the newly-signed deal, citing the fact that the case proceeded under seal.
Brazilian public prosecutors had reopened the criminal fraud case against then Rep.-elect Santos in January over an alleged 2008 incident in which Santos spent almost $700 with a stolen checkbook and fake name at a clothing store near Rio de Janeiro, to which he reportedly confessed.
A judge in Brazil accepted the charges against Santos in 2011, but subsequent subpoenas went unanswered and authorities were unable to determine his whereabouts — so the case was suspended in 2013. He then surged into the spotlight as he took his seat in Congress.
Separately, in the U.S. on Wednesday, Santos was arrested on 13 federal criminal charges — and pleaded not guilty at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, N.Y.
The controversial freshman lawmaker, who admitted to fabricating parts of his resume as he campaigned for his congressional seat and has since faced scrutiny over his campaign finances, was charged with seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds and two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives.
The Hill has reached out to Santos’s office for comment on the Brazil case.
The Associated Press contributed.