Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been investigating Rep. George Santos’ (R-NY) involvement in an alleged charity scheme that involves a disabled U.S. Navy veteran.
The FBI is investigating George Santos for allegedly raising money for a veteran's dying service dog in a GoFundMe scheme – then ghosting with the cash. https://t.co/szfBJJYUGE
— POLITICO (@politico) February 1, 2023
The service member, identified as Richard Osthoff, says Santos used his dying service dog to raise funds and ghosted with the money raised. As Osloff narrated to FBI agents, Santos promised to use his pet charity platform, Friends of Pets United, to raise funds for the pitbull’s stomach tumor removal.
Santos, using the name Anthony Devolder at the time, raised $3000 on GoFundMe on behalf of the dog, but rather than use the funds as agreed, he held on to it and became difficult to contact. Per Osthoff, Santos kept making excuses as to why the pitbull could not receive the funds for treatment and, ultimately, ghosted him.
The tumor eventually led to the pitbull’s death in 2017, an experience Osloff described as traumatic and suicidal.
This allegation is the latest of the numerous scandals and criminal investigations that Santos has been continuously wrapped up in shortly after he won a seat in November.
He is facing a probe by the Federal Elections Commission in connection with the falsification of campaign documents. The House Ethics Committee is also looking into this.
Santos faces charges in Brazil in connection with a stolen checkbook. He has admitted to allegations that significant details of his life are fabricated. One of the lies is connected to his education, as the embattled lawmaker said he graduated from Baruch College in New York City. He also claimed to have worked at Goldman Sachs.
Other lies Santos reportedly told put his mother at the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attacks and made his relatives victims of the Holocaust. Despite his reported admissions, Santos has insisted he did not break any laws.
In a GOP meeting on Tuesday, the fresh Republican stepped down from his committee assignments in Congress. According to him, he does not want to be a further distraction for Republicans in the House.
He is, however, refusing to leave office, with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy promising he will be removed from Congress if the House Ethics Committee finds that he broke the law.