U.S. Rep. George Santos had 2017 Pennsylvania theft cost expunged, lawyer says – Nationwide

U.S. Rep. George Santos had 2017 Pennsylvania theft cost expunged, lawyer says – Nationwide

U.S. Rep. George Santos was charged with felony theft in Pennsylvania in 2017 in reference to dangerous checks apparently used to purchase puppies from canine breeders, in response to a lawyer who stated she helped the Republican with the case.

U.S. Rep. George Santos had 2017 Pennsylvania theft cost expunged, lawyer says – Nationwide

The case was in the end dismissed after Santos stated the 9 checks, totaling greater than $15,000, have been from a checkbook that had been stolen from him, in response to info offered to The Related Press on Thursday by the legal professional, Tiffany Bogosian.

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The theft case, first reported by Politico, provides to the controversy surrounding the first-term Lengthy Island congressman, who faces a number of investigations and has acknowledged mendacity about components of his life story.

A spokesperson for the York County district legal professional’s workplace in Pennsylvania, the place the fees have been filed, stated the workplace can not touch upon expunged instances. Pennsylvania state police officers didn’t return messages in search of remark.

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A congressional aide to Santos referred inquiries to his legal professional, Joseph Murray, who didn’t instantly reply to a message in search of remark. Santos has beforehand denied any unlawful doings.

The fees date to a time when Santos claimed to be main a bunch, Buddies of Pets United, that benefited sick, deserted or uncared for animals.

Some individuals acquainted with the group have questioned what grew to become of the cash it raised. FBI brokers lately visited a New Jersey man who complained that Santos had raised $3,000 for his terminally unwell canine, however by no means delivered the money or helped the sick animal.

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It’s not the primary time Santos has been linked to a felony investigation involving checks. Courtroom information in Brazil, first reported by The New York Instances, present Santos was the topic of a felony cost there for utilizing two stolen checks in 2008, when he would have been 19, to purchase about $1,350 value of things at a clothes store within the metropolis of Niteroi.

The Instances quoted native prosecutors as saying the case was dormant as a result of Santos had by no means appeared in courtroom. Santos has denied being sought by authorities in South America.

Bogosian stated she started serving to Santos with the Pennsylvania theft case in 2020, after he advised her he had been served with an extradition warrant. She gave the AP e mail correspondence she had with a Pennsylvania state trooper in February 2020.

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Within the e mail to the trooper, she wrote that Santos advised her one among 4 checkbooks he obtained from his financial institution disappeared in 2017 and he instantly known as the financial institution, had the checks canceled and put cease pay orders on all of the checks. He later closed the account.

Within the e mail, Bogosian stated Santos was not conscious of the checks written to the canine breeders till after he was charged. Defending her buddy, she additionally wrote that the signatures on the checks differed from one another and from Santos’ personal signature.

“A evaluate of the under and connected will clarify my shopper just isn’t solely the sufferer of fraud however so are the extra payees listed under and whom obtained the connected checks,” Bogosian wrote within the e mail.

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Santos, she wrote, suspected that his roommate on the finish of 2017, “an individual solely often known as `Sydney Lima,”’ had entry to the checks and was maybe accountable.

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The fees have been later expunged, however it isn’t clear precisely why.

The memo strains on among the dangerous checks written to the canine breeders stated they’d been used to purchase “puppies.”

Shortly after the checks have been written, Buddies of Pets United held a pet adoption occasion at a pet retailer in New York Metropolis, at which individuals paid tons of of {dollars} for the animals.

The New York Instances reported Monday that after that adoption occasion, in November 2017, Santos requested the pet retailer proprietor to jot down a verify from the proceeds to Anthony Devolder, the title Santos was going by on the time.

The proprietor rejected the request and as a substitute made the verify payable to Buddies of Pets United. The proprietor, Daniel Avissato, advised the Instances he later found in his financial institution information that somebody had blotted out Buddies of Pets United on the verify’s recipient line and changed it with Anthony Devolder.

Santos has refused to reply questions on Buddies of Pets United, however stated in a tweet responding to among the fundraising allegations that “my work in animal advocacy was the labor of affection & laborious work.”

He stated he had rescued many canine over time.

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