According to a lawyer who assisted Rep. George Santos’ defense against the accusation and now regrets it, Santos was charged with theft in a 2017 case in Pennsylvania that was later dropped and erased from his record.
“I should have let him go to hell,” that attorney, Tiffany Bogosian, told CNBC in a phone interview Thursday.
Bogosian confirmed the veracity of Politico’s recent reporting that Santos was charged with theft by deceit following many failed checks issued in his name to Pennsylvania dog breeders.
Santos had claimed that someone had stolen his checkbook and written checks totaling thousands of dollars — including multiple that were made out for “puppies,” according to Bogosian, who provided screenshots of the reviews and corresponding bank statements.
Days after those checks were written, according to Politico, which cited the store’s Instagram account and a witness to the event, Santos hosted a pet adoption event with his ostensible pet charity, Friends of Pets United, at a pet shop in Staten Island.
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Santos’ congressional office provided CNBC with the contact information for his lawyer, who did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Bogosian asserted that the Politico report was “1,000%” accurate. According to the site, she was Santos’ middle school classmate who met him in Queens, New York, in late 2019 and got in touch with him a few weeks later when he claimed to have been served an extradition request connected to the Pennsylvania theft accusation.
Santos revealed to her that one of his checkbooks had vanished in 2017 and that he had canceled it right away. Santos was a victim of fraud, but he hadn’t realized it until he was issued the warrant, according to Bogosian, who contacted a Pennsylvania state police trooper to explain the case.
Bogosian recalled Santos telling her that a week after their meeting in February 2020, he had been to Pennsylvania, informed the authorities that he worked for the Securities and Exchange Commission, and had been successful in getting them to dismiss the accusations.
The Santos case in question “doesn’t exist inside the system,” a representative for the York County District Court in Pennsylvania told CNBC that she “cannot confirm” whether the allegedly expunged case ever existed or didn’t.
However, Bogosian gave CNBC an image of a charge for “THEFT BY DECEP-FALSE IMPRESSION” from November 2017 under Santos’ name.
In light of the scandals, lies, and investigations that have followed Santos since shortly after he won the contest for New York’s 3rd Congressional District, she told CNBC that she no longer believes Santos’ account. He has promised to complete his two-year term in the House.
“I feel terrible; I should have just let him return to the warrant,” the lawyer said. She vowed to “do everything I can to get him into jail, and if not into jail, then out of office.”
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