Federal prosecutors have charged a Texas man they say tried to scam former Rep. George Santos as well as an actor, a musician and a professional athlete by falsely suggesting he could help get criminal charges dropped.

Hector Medina, Jr., was arrested in his hometown of El Paso, Texas, on Wednesday, and faces charges in the Eastern District of New York.

An FBI affidavit states that the bureau had been investigating an individual who identified himself as “Michael Soto” who they identified as Medina. The bureau says he targeted individuals “who were, or whose family members were, facing criminal exposure” by falsely promising his attempted victims that he “could cause their criminal exposure to disappear in exchange for large sums of money.”

The FBI said that Medina admitted in an interview with law enforcement in December that he “searched the Internet for individuals who were in trouble believing that they would be easy targets for his scheme” and that he was trying to get money because he “owed over $100,000 in gambling debts.”

While Santos, R-N.Y., is not explicitly named as a victim in the complaint, details in the affidavit make clear that Santos is “Individual-1,” one of four victims listed. Santos was expelled from the House in December and is currently facing charges brought in May 2023, to which he has pleaded not guilty. Santos was hit with additional charges in October, with prosecutors alleging he engaged in identity theft.

An attorney for Santos did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Individual 2 is identified in the affidavit as “a publicly known actor who had been convicted of felonies in California in May 2023.” Individual 3 is listed as a “publicly known musician who had been arrested in June 2023.” Individual 4 is listed as “a professional athlete” whose “family member had been arrested in May 2023.”

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *