Embattled Rep. George Santos on Friday stated he was “harmless” of an allegation that he had orchestrated a bank card skimming operation in 2017 in Seattle that led to the responsible plea and deportation of a Brazilian man.

“Harmless,” the New York Republican advised reporters on Capitol Hill. “By no means did something of felony exercise, and I’ve no mastermind occasion.”

His denials got here a day after Politico revealed a sworn assertion that the publication stated Gustavo Ribeiro Trelha had submitted this week to the FBI and different federal legislation enforcement officers, alleging that Santos had overseen the skimming operation.

Trelha, whom Politico recognized as a former roommate of Santos, pleaded responsible to “entry gadget fraud” in 2017 in Seattle, federal data present. He had been arrested earlier that yr after utilizing a bank card skimming gadget and digital digicam on ATMs to “surreptitiously steal the credit score and debit card numbers” of customers and report them coming into their pin numbers as they used the automated teller machines, federal prosecutors stated in courtroom paperwork.

Within the declaration, Trelha alleged that Santos had taught him tips on how to clone ATM and bank cards and that the 2 had agreed to a 50-50 break up of proceeds.

CNN has not verified the authenticity of the Trelha’s declaration, and the New York lawyer representing Trelha has not returned a number of emails and cellphone calls.

CNN has additionally reached out to the FBI and the Division of Justice for remark.

On Friday, Santos advised reporters that he had supplied data to federal authorities in reference to the fraud probe in Seattle.

“I cooperated with Secret Service, FBI, everyone that requested for my assist. Acquired data for them. Acquired everyone arrested and deported,” he stated.

Santos additionally sought to distance himself from Trelha, denying that the 2 have been ever roommates and saying that he solely met him “a few occasions in my life.”

Santos did seem in courtroom on Trelha’s behalf in 2017, in keeping with an audio recording of the bail listening to obtained by CNN. On the listening to, Santos described Trelha as a “household pal.”

At that listening to, Santos additionally falsely advised the choose that he labored for Goldman Sachs. The congressman has since acknowledged that he by no means labored straight for the New York funding large.

The allegation from Trelha comes because the freshman congressman faces intense scrutiny over his a number of fabrications about his biography and resume. Native and federal prosecutors are investigating his funds, and the Home ethics committee final week introduced that it was formally shifting ahead with a probe into whether or not Santos might have engaged in illegal exercise throughout his profitable 2022 marketing campaign for his Lengthy Island seat.

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