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Rep. George Santos is now firmly in the doghouse … the embattled U.S. Congressman allegedly scammed a disabled homeless military veteran out of thousands in donations intended to keep his dying service pooch alive.
The freshman legislator from NY — who’s already copped to lying about his education and work experience — crossed paths with Navy veteran Richard Osthoff in May 2016 and identified himself by one of his aliases, Anthony Devolder … according to local news site, Patch.
Osthoff told Patch he and his beloved service dog, Sapphire, were living out of a tent on the side of a highway in Howell, NJ. That would be trying enough, but Sapphire also had a stomach tumor that was getting larger day by day.
Osthoff needed to come up with $3,000 for his dog’s surgery, so a veterinary tech put him in touch with Santos through a charity named “Friends of Pets United” … which was operated by “Anthony Devolder,” Santos’ alias. Ya, see where this is going, right?
Santos/Devolder allegedly started a GoFundMe to harness funds for Sapphire’s surgery, and Osthoff says one month later, Santos posted on Facebook, “We made the goal, and then some.”
This is where it gets really shady — according to Osthoff, he and Santos discussed taking Sapphire to a different vet after a bleak prognosis from Santos’ animal doctor.
Osthoff texted Santos, “My dog is going to die because of god knows what” — and Santos allegedly replied, “Sapphire is not a candidate for this surgery the funds are moved to the next animal in need and we will make sure we use of resources [sic] to keep her comfortable!”
Osthoff says Sapphire never got the surgery, died in January 2017 … and they never saw a dime of the donation money. Osthoff was so distraught, he contemplated suicide, pointing out he “loved that dog so much, I inhaled her last breaths when I had her euthanized.”
Now, Santos is denying the whole ordeal … saying he has no clue who Osthoff is or what he’s talking about. He told the Semafor news site, “Fake. No clue who this is.”
As we’ve reported, Santos’ track record already sucks … he was accused of fabricating much of his resume to help him win the congressional seat repping parts of Long Island and Queens.
There are growing calls, even from Republicans, for him to resign after he admitted lying about earning degrees from Baruch College and New York University, and making misleading claims about working for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs.