NEW YORK (PIX11) — The FBI has reached out to the Navy veteran who alleges that Rep. George Santos kept $3,000 in GoFundMe donations collected to help his dying service dog, the veteran said Wednesday.
Richard Osthoff told PIX11 News that FBI agents have asked him about the alleged 2016 incident, and that he gave them text messages he exchanged with Santos.
Osthoff said last month that Santos — who then went by Anthony Devolder — offered to help him raise money for necessary surgery for his beloved service dog, Sapphire.
But once the funds were raised, Santos cut off all contact without giving him a dime, Osthoff alleges. Meanwhile, the tumor for which Sapphire needed surgery became inoperable and, eventually, fatal.
A tweet sent from Santos’ campaign account when the allegation was first reported called the claim “shocking & insane.”
“The reports that I would let a dog die is shocking & insane,” the message read in part. “My work in animal advocacy was the labor of love & hard work.”
Santos, a first-term Republican representing parts of Queens and Long Island in Congress, has faced an avalanche of controversy since his election, ranging from lies he was caught in about his professional and personal history, to campaign finance concerns.
Despite calls to resign from both constituents and a bipartisan array of lawmakers, Santos has refused.