🔴 Rep. George Santos offered to help a Navy vet pay for his service dog's operation

🔴 Rich Osthoff said Santos stopped talking to him and withheld the funds raised

🔴 Osthoff said he thought it was too late for any action to be taken

The FBI is investigating an allegation by a New Jersey Navy veteran that U.S. Rep. George Santos withheld donations to a GoFundMe to help his dying service dog.

Richard Osthoff, who was homeless and living in a tent in Howell in 2016, told Patch that Santos' Friends of Pets United charity created a GoFundMe page to help his dog Sapphire who had developed a large tumor and needed life-saving surgery.

After the fund received $3,000 in donations, Santos, who then was going by the name Anthony Devolder, refused to turn over the money, according to Osthoff.

Santos, who makes near-daily headlines after his statements about his life were shown to be false, called Osthoff's allegation "shocking and insane."

Osthoff told Politico he spoke to two agents who were working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York and shared text messages from Santos at the time.

The veteran who now lives in Freehold Township told Politico he was worried that too much time had passed for any action to be taken. He doubts that Santos has ever helped an animal in need.

Lies and an ethics probe

Santos stepped away from the two congressional committees he was assigned to so he could serve his constituents without distraction.

The questions surrounding Santos go beyond his misrepresentations to voters to include whether his congressional campaign followed the law in its reporting to the Federal Election Commission. There have been lingering questions about irregularities in his campaign committee's financial reports and the source of Santos’ wealth.

If Santos’ campaign is found to have knowingly and willfully made any “materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation” on its paperwork, it could potentially face criminal charges, the FEC said in a letter to the campaign last week.

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Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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