LGBTQ POLITICS - While Out Rep. George Santos (R-NY) is under investigation for fabricating most of his resume and possibly violating campaign finance laws, four of his self-described former roommates told Patch.com that Santos stole money and items from them.
A Brazilian woman named Adriana Damaisceno Parizzi Correia allowed Santos to stay in her home and also paid for his flight when he relocated with her from Niterói, Brazil to New York City in 2011. She said Santos wasn’t working at the time and seemed disinterested in finding a job.
After the move to Jackson Heights, Queens, Correia said she began to notice cash missing from around the apartment. When she asked Santos about it, he allegedly blamed one of his cousins.
When Correia moved into a Whitestone, Queens apartment that Santos shared with his then-boyfriend in 2014, Santos allegedly warned her that she should let him hold onto her jewelry to hide it from thieves in the dangerous neighborhood. When Correia later moved out, Santos never returned the jewelry, Correia and her daughter said.
That boyfriend later accused Santos of stealing his phone and broke up with Santos after he discovered that, while living in Brazil, Santos had confessed to stealing and illegally cashing the checks of a man his mom used to take care of. Brazil has since re-opened charges connected to the case, though Santos now denies that he ever committed the crime.
A man named Yasser Rabello said that while living with Santos in a two-bedroom apartment in 2012, Santos stole a “very expensive Armani dress shirt” from him and a $500 Burberry shirt from their fellow roommate Gregory Morey-Parker. Morey-Parker allegedly saw Santos wearing the shirt in an Instagram photo after Santos announced his 2020 run for Congress.
Morey-Parker also suspected Santos of stealing three checks out of his E*Trade checkbook and trying to cash them for $10,000 each.
Santos, who was sworn into Congress earlier this month, has also admitted to lying to voters about graduating from Baruch College (where he claimed he was a star volleyball player) and New York University, working directly for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, and living at a fake address in his congressional district. He provided no additional proof to back up claims that he founded a charity called Friends of Pets, that he attended the Horace Mann prep school, that his grandparents escaped the Holocaust, that his mom died due to the September 11 terrorist attacks, and that he lost four employees in the June 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting.
Calls for Santos’s resignation have come from the Republican Party chairs of both New York and Nassau County (where Santos’s district lies), the New York Conservative Party, and four of Santos’s Republican House colleagues, but he has refused. U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has said he won’t ask for Santos to resign either.
It was recently revealed that Santos’s campaign paid a staffer nearly $100,000to pretend to be McCarthy’s chief of staff and get money from donors. He may have also violated various campaign finance laws and took a campaign donation from an Italian man who was caught smuggling undocumented migrants into the United States.
Santos’s Democratic colleagues have issued an official complaint against him to the House Ethics Committee. Fellow gay Congressman Ritchie Torres (D-NY) has introduced legislation named after Santos to punish any future candidates who lie to voters about their qualifications.
Santos — and his questionable history and campaign finances — are currently under investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James (D), Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly (R), Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz (D) and the U.S. attorney’s office in the Eastern District of New York.
(Daniel Villarreal is a longtime journalist, webmaster of DanielVillarrealWrites.com and an educator who has written for Queerty, The Seattle Stranger, Vox, Slate and many other publications. He is also the founder of QueerBomb Dallas, an annual non-corporate Pride event; CinéWilde, the nation's longest running monthly LGBTQ film series; and is currently seeking full-time work in journalism, marketing or public relations. This article was first featured in LGBTQnation.com.)