The lawyer Rep. George Santos (R-NY) chose to defend him in his fraud case in Brazil was convicted and jailed in connection with a gang execution, according to a report. Jonymar Vasconcelos, 47, was sentenced to 18 years in prison in 2007 for his role in the fatal shooting of a mechanic three years earlier, São Paulo’s Folha newspaper reported Wednesday. Vasconcelos, who was reportedly paid for the hit, went with three other men to the home of Aristeu Vieira de Mattos in the early hours of Dec. 3, 2004. Vasconcelos, who was in Brazil’s Navy at the time, remained on a motorcycle while the killing took place, the newspaper reports. In 2009 he was moved to house arrest and began studying law. It’s unclear how Santos found Vasconcelos to defend him in his fraud case—in which it’s alleged the congressman paid for goods with a stolen checkbook in 2008—given that Vasconcelos is reportedly not affiliated with any law firm and does not list contact information online. When approached by Folha, the newspaper says Santos replied that he doesn’t understand Portuguese—despite speaking Portuguese fluently in interviews—and then did not respond to questions sent in English.
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