You’ve been a bad, bad Hoya, and you’re going to get away with it

Federal prosecutors have moved to throw out a case against Pedro Paulo dos Santos, a Georgetown University official charged with felony theft. He is accused of embezzling $300,000 from the University, but officials want to drop the case since they literally cannot find him.

They believe too much time has elapsed since he fled the country in 2005, but the motion must be approved by a judge before it is final.

“The defendant was not apprehended and efforts to locate him have failed,” prosecutors wrote in a memo, according to the Washington Times. “After reviewing this matter, the government has concluded that, because of the passage of time, it could not successfully prosecute this matter at this time. Accordingly, we are requesting that the case be dismissed.”

According to a 2007 Voice article, dos Santos would have faced 30 years in prison and $1,000,000 in fines if he had been convicted of the 10 counts of bank fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, and theft.

The article said that dos Santos defrauded the University by faking checks.

From September 2001 to February 2005, dos Santos wrote several checks to the fictional Nelson Katri Arias, who supposedly provided guest lecturing services, by forging expense vouchers and fake invoices, according to the Department of Justice. The Georgetown accounts payable department processed these checks, and Dos Santos would receive the checks directly from the department.

Dos Santos was associate director of Georgetown’s Brazilian studies program, according to the Washington Times. A 2005 internal audit linked him to the theft of the $300,000.

A day after he was confronted by auditors, when he admitted the theft and agreed to sign his house to the university as repayment, a co-worker received a call from a man identifying himself as “Pedro.” According to an FBI affidavit, the caller said he would “be in Brazil by the time you get this message.”

This theft came just a few years after a Medical Center administrator stole more than $350,000 from the University in a series of schemes. In each case, a Georgetown spokesperson stated that the university put more safeguards in place to detect fraud. The most recent case of fraud was discovered by the public less than a month ago, when a university administrator diverted $390,000 in unapproved compensation. That case is different in that it is not clear that there was an intent to steal the money, according to Rachel Pugh, director of media relations. Apparently we’ve got ourselves a couple of bad, bad Hoyas (and one severely confused one).

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