George Santos interviewed by Secret Service in 2017 ATM skimming investigation that targeted friend

New York Republican Congressman George Santos was interviewed by the U.S. Secret Service in 2017 as part of an ATM skimming investigation that targeted a friend of his, sources familiar with the case told ABC News.

According to the sources, the case began with police in Seattle, who spotted an individual removing a card-skimming device from a bank ATM.

That individual, Gustavo Ribeiro Trelha, had been living in a local hotel where multiple card-skimming devices and other incriminating items were subsequently found. The address on the packaging for some of those items was the same address where Santos lived in Florida, the sources said.

It’s not clear Santos was ever a target of the investigation but Secret Service agents out of Orlando ended up interviewing him as part of the case, the sources said, confirming a development first reported by CBS.

Trehla was ultimately convicted, sentenced and turned over to immigration authorities for deportation to Brazil but not before Santos appeared in a Seattle courtroom on his friend’s behalf.

According to Politico, which first obtained audio of the hearing, Santos lied when he told the judge he worked for Goldman Sachs in New York.

“I am an aspiring politician and I work for Goldman Sachs,” Santos said, according to the audio recording.

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

“Yup,” Santos responded.

As national media has previously reported, Santos did not work for the firm, as he later conceded in an interview with the New York Post. Instead, he claimed a firm where he did work had partnerships with Goldman Sachs.

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