(The Hill) – Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) falsely told a judge in 2017 that he worked for the investment banking firm Goldman Sachs, multiple outlets reported Friday based on audio of a hearing they obtained and published. Politico first obtained the audio recording of the Seattle bail hearing for a “family friend” of Santos named Gustavo Ribeiro Trelha. After the judge asked Santos where he worked, he can be heard responding, “I am an aspiring politician and I work for Goldman Sachs.”
“You work for Goldman Sachs in New York?” the judge clarified, which Santos confirmed. CBS also obtained audio and confirmed that Santos made the false claim at the hearing.
Santos said during the hearing that he knew Trelha through family as their parents knew each other from Brazil. But Trelha told Politico that Santos also lied about their connection, saying through a translator that they met through a Facebook group for Brazilians living in Orlando, Florida, in 2016. He said he moved into Santos’ apartment in Winter Park, Florida, in November of that year. The Hill has reached out to Santos’ office for comment.
Trelha eventually pleaded guilty to a felony charge of access device fraud and served seven months in jail before being deported to Brazil in 2018, according to Politico. The outlet reported that Trelha was initially arrested after a security camera caught him removing skimming equipment from a Chase ATM in Seattle. Documents revealed that officials found a fake ID and 10 potentially fraudulent cards in Trelha’s hotel room, according to the outlet.
The reports are the latest in a series of revelations about false statements Santos has made about his educational, personal and professional background, a number of which came while he was running for office. He told Piers Morgan in an interview released earlier this week that he did not think the public would learn about his fabrications because he “got away with” them during his unsuccessful 2020 campaign for the House.
The claims Santos has made about himself that have been revealed to be false include that he worked for Goldman Sachs, received a bachelor’s degree from Baruch College, and is Jewish. He has stepped aside from his committee assignments but so far refused to resign from his House seat.