George Santos Denies Using Veteran’s Sick Dog To Raise Money For Himself
Rep. George Santos (R-New York) has been accused of stealing money from a 2016 fundraiser for a disabled veteran’s dog, but he denies the allegations.
U.S. Navy veteran Richard Osthoff provided an interview to a local news site, Patch, claiming that in 2016, he found out that his dog had cancer so he sought out an animal charity Friends of Pets United.
There, he was told that the man who headed the charity, Anthony Devolder, may be able to help him raise the $3000 needed for the surgery. A GoFundMe page was started and the money was raised, but Osthoff said that Devolder, which is a name that Santos used as an alias before entering politics, closed the page, took the money and disappeared.
Another veteran, retired police Sgt. Michael Boll made efforts to help Osthoff by reaching out to Santos on multiple occasions, but Boll said “[Santos] was totally uncooperative on the phone.”
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The dog, Sapphire, died in January 2017.
Osthoff provided the text messages allegedly sent from Devolder. The messages seemed to show a pivot from support to claiming Sapphire’s illness was untreatable which in turn sent the money to Devolder’s charity instead.
My God. Newly obtained texts show George Santos (who was going by Anthony DeVolder) set up a fake GoFundMe claiming to help a disabled veteran’s dog get a tumor removed.
— No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC) January 17, 2023
When asked about the allegations by Semafor, Santos responded, “Fake. No clue who this is.”
Santos has already faced intense backlash since winning his midterm in November. After he was elected, it was revealed that he had lied about his resume and possibly was not truthful about his personal and campaign finances.
Santos still says that he plans to serve his two-year congressional term despite calls for him to step down due to the controversy.
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