Then-Rep. George Santos talks to reporters at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Nov....

Then-Rep. George Santos talks to reporters at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Nov. 30. Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite

A Texas man surrendered Wednesday on a federal fraud charge involving a scheme in which he posed as someone who could get charges dropped for people involved in criminal cases, including former Long Island Rep. George Santos and actor Danny Masterson, court records show.

Hector Medina Jr., 39, of El Paso, Texas, is charged with wire fraud for the scheme, which involved him contacting publicly known people who were either facing criminal charges or whose family members had criminal exposure and “falsely promising” he could make the charges disappear for “large sums of money,” the criminal complaint states.

“I work with prosecutors and, uh, judges throughout the United States and I want to give you the opportunity to offer my services,” federal agents say Medina, identifying himself under the alias Mike Soto, said in a video message he sent to Santos in July. “I was contacted by some people to reach out to you and see if you wanted to cut a deal. Uh, this only stands for today. If you’re interested, I can get everything dropped, evidence that is on you removed, disappeared.”

Santos pleaded not guilty to a 23-count indictment charging him with fraudulently receiving unemployment benefits authorized during the COVID-19 pandemic, lying on congressional disclosure forms, filing fraudulent fundraising reports and stealing thousands of dollars from his campaign supporters by charging their credit cards without authorization. He was expelled from Congress Dec. 1 and is awaiting trial in September.

The Long Island FBI office last summer launched its investigation into Medina, who investigators say was convicted of a separate fraud charge last year and of felony theft in 2016. While a New Mexico driver’s license Medina allegedly showed the targets in his scheme turned out to be invalid, the photograph matched the picture on Medina’s actual license, helping agents identify him, court records show.

Medina is alleged to have repeated similar schemes for at least three other individuals, including Masterson, a Long Island native and former “That '70s Show” star, who was convicted on rape charges in May. Court records show Medina promised to help with a sentence reduction in phone messages to Masterson, who was raised in Garden City and East Williston.

“I can get the case thrown out or a reduced sentence very low but my people are asking for a $1 million dollar fee,” Medina told Masterson in a message, according to court records.

“Nobody else needs to get involved,” he later said in a message to Masterson’s then-wife, actress and model Bijou Phillips, according to the same court filing.

Masterson is now serving 30 years to life in a California prison.

Santos and Masterson's names were excluded from court documents but confirmed by a source with knowledge of the scheme. Medina’s contact with Santos was limited to July and August of last year, while he remained in Congress, according to the complaint.

Court records allege Medina also offered to similarly help a musician who was arrested in June, and an athlete whose father was charged with a crime in May.

“I’m dealing with you and you only no lawyers no police no anybody,” Medina allegedly told the unnamed athlete last June, according to the complaint.

Medina faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of wire fraud, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York said. After making an initial appearance in federal court in El Paso Wednesday, he is expected to appear on the charges in Brooklyn federal court at a later date.

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