The FBI is investigating George Santos, the New York congressman who has admitted to fabricating much of his resume, on allegations that he stole $3,000 raised for a homeless Navy veteran’s cancer-stricken dog, reports announced on Wednesday.
The Navy veteran reportedly told investigators that the embattled Long Island Rep. conned him out of thousands of dollars meant to go toward saving his dying service dog on a GoFundMe page.
Two agents reached out to Richard Osthoff on Wednesday as part of the Brooklyn US Attorney’s probe into the lying Republican lawmaker, according to Politico.
Osthoff handed over text messages from 2016 with Santos to the FBI, who he says used his unfortunate condition to raise $3,000 for life-saving surgery for the pit bull mix, Sapphire — then ghosted with the money, as initially reported by Patch.
Santos, 34, who went by the name Anthony Devolder at the time, allegedly organized the fundraiser for Sapphire through Friends of Pets United, which the New York Times reported is not a registered charity.
George Santos has a long list of lies
“I’ve seen how socialism destroys people’s lives because my grandparents survived the Holocaust.”Rep. George Santos
The alleged fundraising scheme is one of many scandals plaguing the freshman Republican, who has refused to leave office despite a series of allegations of lying and fraud that first came to light in December shortly after he won a swing seat on Long Island.
In his campaign launch video for Congress, Santos stated: “I’ve seen how socialism destroys people’s lives because my grandparents survived the Holocaust.”
A former roommate of Santos said that he used a "fake Jewish-sounding last name" to raise funds on GoFundMe, according to a Business Insider report.
In late December, Santos confessed to a multitude of lies he made on the campaign trail, including about his education and work experience, but he denied claiming to be Jewish.
One day prior to his confession, Santos joined the Republican Jewish Coalition on Long Island for a menorah lighting to mark the first night of Hanukkah. He’d been invited as one of just two freshmen Republican Jews elected to Congress in November.
“I am not a criminal,” Santos, the first openly gay non-incumbent Republican elected to the House, said during an interview with New York Post in December. “This [controversy] will not deter me from having good legislative success. I will be effective. I will be good.”
Following the interview, the Republican Jewish Coalition said it would not invite Santos back.
“He deceived us and misrepresented his heritage,” said Matt Brooks, chief executive of RJC. “In public comments and to us personally, he previously claimed to be Jewish.”
Santos, elected to Congress in November's midterm elections to represent the Long Island and Queens-based 3rd District, was accused of lying about his family history, saying on his campaign website that his mother was Jewish and his grandparents escaped the Nazis during World War II.
Now Santos is insisting that he's “clearly Catholic,” but continues to claim that his grandmother told stories about being Jewish and later converted to Catholicism.
Caught in another untruth, Santos' campaign website claims that his mother "survived the tragic events on September 11th, but she passed away a few years later when she lost her battle to cancer."
But last month, journalist Yashar Ali found two contradictory tweets from Santos. The first post, in July 2021, read, "9/11 claimed my mother's life... so I'm blocking so I don't ever have to read this again."
The second post, in December 2021, read, "December 23rd this year marks 5 years I lost my best friend and mentor. Mom you will live forever in my heart."
"This guy has to be an op. My god," Ali tweeted.