The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is reportedly investigating Republican New York Rep. George Santos for an alleged charity scheme.
Santos allegedly promised disabled Navy veteran Richard Osthoff that he would use his pet charity, Friends of Pets United, to help Osthoff’s pitbull get a stomach tumor removed. Santos, then known as Anthony Devolder, allegedly raised $3,000 on GoFundMe and took the funds for himself, which was first reported by Patch News. Santos allegedly became difficult to contact after the fundraiser and made excuses about why Osthoff’s pitbull could not receive the funds for treatment.
Two FBI agents reportedly contacted Osthoff on Wednesday about the investigation, Politico reported. “I’m glad to get the ball rolling with the big-wigs,” he told the outlet. “I was worried that what happened to me was too long ago to be prosecuted.”
FBI agents are investigating Rep. George Santos’ role in an alleged GoFundMe scheme involving a disabled U.S. Navy veteran’s dying service dog https://t.co/wp8uk45DsW
— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) February 1, 2023
Santos stepped down from his committee assignments Tuesday in a closed door GOP meeting. He reportedly told his colleagues he will not serve until “everything clears up,” referring to his numerous scandals and criminal investigations. He was assigned to the Small Business, and Science, Space and Technology committees by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. (RELATED: Veteran Says He Almost Killed Himself After Rep. George Santos Allegedly Took $3,000 From Dog’s Charity Fund)
Santos admitted to fabricating significant details about his life, including his education, work history and ethnicity. Santos falsely claimed he graduated from Baruch College in New York City and worked at Goldman Sachs. He also claimed his relatives died in the holocaust and his mother was at the World Trade Center during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Federal and local prosecutors have opened criminal investigations into Santos, and he faces fraud charges in Brazil for allegedly stealing a checkbook. The Federal Elections Commission is looking into whether Santos falsified campaign documents and the House Ethics Committee is also investigating him.
Speaker McCarthy said on Jan. 25 that Santos would be removed from Congress if the House Ethics Committee finds evidence he broke the law.