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Surprise: George Santos Told One of His Go-To Lies During a Bail Hearing for a Friend Who Committed Fraud

One of the very first lies George Santos was exposed for was the one in which he claimed to have worked at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. “My sins here are embellishing my résumé,” he said in an interview in December, before it would come out that he did a lot more than that. When he stated on the campaign trail that he’d worked for the banks, he claimed, what he’d meant was that a company he had worked for, LinkBridge Investors, did business with the financial firms. The lie, he insisted, was merely a “poor choice of words.” But as it turns out, he didn’t just speak imprecisely—a.k.a. lie—about working at Goldman and Citigroup to would-be voters; he also lied about it to a judge—in a court of law—for a friend who apparently has just as much trouble telling the truth as he does.

Politico reports that while appearing in a Seattle courtroom for the 2017 bail hearing of a “family friend” who’d later plead guilty to felony access device fraud, Santos was asked by King County Superior Court judge Sean O’Donnell who he worked for. “I am an aspiring politician and I work for Goldman Sachs,” Santos responded.

“You work for Goldman Sachs in New York?” the judge asked.

“Yup,” Santos replied.

Not surprisingly, that wasn’t the only lie Santos told that day.

Per Politico:

Santos appeared at the 2017 hearing on behalf of [Gustavo Ribeiro] Trelha using his full name, George Anthony Devolder Santos. He told the judge he would secure “a long extended-stay apartment through Airbnb” in Seattle during the case if the defendant was released on bail. “How do you know this man?” the judge asked. “We’re family friends. Our parents know each other from Brazil,” Santos said…. In a telephone interview, Trelha said Santos lied about their relationship, too. Trelha, through a translator, said he met Santos in the fall of 2016 on a Facebook group for Brazilians living in Orlando, Fla., and that his mother died in 2012.

And if you’re wondering if the guy Santos went to bat for despite barely knowing was simply a low-level con artist being unfairly persecuted, wonder no more:

A federal prosecutor who ultimately handled the case described the fraud as “sophisticated,” saying Trelha’s three-day skimming spree in Seattle was only “the tip of the iceberg,” according to a court transcript first reported by CBS News…. When Trelha was arrested on April 27, he was caught on a security camera removing skimming equipment from a Chase ATM on Pike Street in downtown Seattle. He had a fake Brazilian ID card and 10 suspected fraudulent cards in his hotel room, according to arrest documents. An empty Fed-Ex package police found in his rental car was sent from the Winter Park apartment he shared with Santos. Trelha declined to say who sent the package from the apartment.

His plan was to spend a week skimming numbers and making fraudulent cards using gift cards bought at stores, Trelha said, and then another week taking out the maximum ATM withdrawals with pin numbers captured by the skimmers and cameras he installed.

An attorney for Santos did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Politico.

Santos is currently facing a host of investigations by everyone from the New York State attorney general to the FBI to prosecutors in Brazil. One thing he apparently didn’t lie about when he was in Seattle doing a solid for his pal? The location of his accommodations. According to Politico, Santos told the judge he was staying at a hotel “by the Space Needle” until the bail decision was rendered. And that seems to have actually been the truth!

A Google account under the name George Devolder, with reviews of Brazilian restaurants in Queens and rental car companies in Miami, left a negative review of a Seattle Domino’s Pizza location in 2017, two miles from King County Jail and close to the Space Needle.

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