FBI is 'investigating George Santos for GoFundMe dog scheme'

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Every dog has its day! FBI 'investigates George Santos for raising and then STEALING $3,000 for homeless Navy vet's cancer-stricken service dog - which then died in agony'

  • Richard Osthoff was contacted by FBI agents investigating the scheme this week
  • He accused Santos of stealing money he raised for life-saving cancer operation
  • Claims Santos' alleged ploy delayed procedure that could have kept dog alive 
  • READ MORE: Santos promises 'from now on everything will be above board'

By Wills Robinson For Dailymail.com and Morgan Phillips, U.S. Political Reporter

Published: 20:51 GMT, 1 February 2023 | Updated: 21:58 GMT, 1 February 2023

The FBI is investigating George Santos over allegations he stole $3,000 raised for a homeless Navy veteran's cancer-stricken dog.

U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York contacted the former service member Richard Osthoff this week, according to Politico

Osthoff claims in 2016 the scandal-plagued Republican congressman used the tragic story of the pit bull mix called Sapphire to raise funds for life-saving surgery to remove a cancerous tumor.

Santos allegedly didn't hand over the funds and the dog died. 

The New York lawmaker, who is already facing multiple investigations and calls to resign over his fabricated resume, has denied Osthoff's allegations.

The report states that Osthoff handed agents text messages between him and a man who called himself 'Anthony Devolder', one of Santos' aliases.

The FBI is investigating George Santos for his role in a GoFundMe scheme to raise money for a veteran's sick dog, a report claims 

The report, published Tuesday, contains bombshell claims concerning the GOP freshman leveled by Richard Osthoff, a disabled veteran who in May 2016 was living with his sick service dog, Sapphire, off a highway in New Jersey

The messages, first reported in Patch, suggested Devolder led Osthoff on before he abruptly said Sapphire was not fit for funding.

Osthoff claims Santos' alleged ruse delayed the procedure that could have saved Sapphire's life.

In 2016, the disabled veteran was living in a chicken coop on the side of a highway in New Jersey. 

After successfully raising the funds, Devolder allegedly deleted the fundraiser and disappeared with the money, leaving Osthoff - who suffers from severe PTSD - in the lurch. Months later, Sapphire succumbed to her illness and died.

Santos has since been accused of several instances of fraud, and is facing multiple criminal investigations over allegations he lied about his qualifications for congress. 

Osthoff told Politico on Wednesday: 'I’m glad to get the ball rolling with the big-wigs. I was worried that what happened to me was too long ago to be prosecuted.'

DailyMail.com has reached out to Santos's attorney for comment. 

The alleged fundraising scheme is only the latest in a slew of legal troubles piling up for the 34-year-old congressman. 

On Tuesday Santos stepped down from his committee assignments, telling his colleagues he wanted to avoid being a 'distraction' to the caucus. 

He has been under fire since December, after reports emerged that he had lied on his campaign website about where he attended college, and that he had worked for high-powered financial institutions including Citigroup and Goldman Sachs.

His carefully constructed back story unraveled from there, including reports that he had been a drag queen in Brazil - claims he denied.

Polling from Newsday and Siena College showed that 78 percent of Santos' New York constituents now believe he should resign.  

Federal prosecutors are also investigating Santos' campaign finances - the Department of Justice even asked the Federal Election Commission to hold off on any enforcement on Santos and provide any relevant documents to them, according to the Washington Post. 

That investigation comes after watchdog Campaign Legal Center directed focus toward the $700,000 donation Santos claims he loaned his 2022 campaign. 

The complaint also took issue with the dozens of expenses Santos' campaign lists at $199.99 - just one penny below the $200 threshold when itemized receipts are required by the FEC. 

Separately the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is looking into Santos's role at Harbor City Capital - the investment firm that shuttered in 2021 after the SEC accused it of running a 'classic Ponzi scheme.'  

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