George Santos’s criminal history in Brazil turns out to have several comedic elements to it and provides some additional color about the man who would win election to Congress 14 years later. Truthfully, it has some of the madcap qualities of an old Three’s Company episode.
In 2008, when Santos was 19, he was living in Rio de Janeiro with mother, Fatima, who was working as a home health aide. In his mother’s purse, George found two checks belonging to Délio da Câmara da Costa Alemão, an 82-year-old man then in his mother’s care. (Fatima Devolder, Santos’s mom, later told police the man had asked her to return the checks to his bank.) George took the checks to a local clothing store where he bought shoes and clothes, identifying himself as “Delio.” The store clerk, Carlos Bruno Simoes, became suspicious after Santos left the store and tried calling the numbers on the checks but got nowhere. It was a big deal for Simoes since, as the guy who accepted the embezzled checks, he had to reimburse his employer for Santos’s fraudulent purchases.
But then Simoes caught a break.