The Rio de Janeiro public prosecutor's office announced on Wednesday that it had reopened a trial for fraud against a Brazilian-born American deputy who recently admitted to having grossly lied on his CV before his election.
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During the legislative elections on November 8, George Santos, 34, had enabled the Republican Party to steal a seat from the Democrats and thus benefit from a narrow majority in the lower house of Congress in Washington.
He had won the riding of Nassau County, a part of Long Island east of New York City.
This son of Brazilian immigrants born in Queens, one of the five boroughs of New York City, is accused in the country of origin of his parents of having paid for goods with stolen checks, in a shop in Niteroi, near Rio, in 2008.
This case had been dismissed in 2013 because the prosecutors did not have the address of Mr. Santos, necessary to follow up the lawsuit.
But "given that the accused was elected to the United States Congress, he now has a verified address," explained the prosecution in an email sent to AFP.
The deputy faces a five-year prison sentence if convicted in Brazil, although prosecutors believe that it is unlikely that he will be sentenced to prison, his criminal record being clean in this country.
Mr. Santos did not immediately respond to requests from AFP to comment on the case.
The reopening of this trial is a new blow for the young parliamentarian already targeted by a preliminary investigation by a New York prosecutor for the "amazing inventions" in his CV.
The scandal erupted after the publication last month of a New York Times article revealing lies about several points in his biography, a few weeks after his election.
Mr. Santos finally confessed afterwards that he had never worked for the big American banks Goldman Sachs or Citigroup, nor had a university degree from New York University (NYU), contrary to what he claimed.