Newly-elected Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) is denying the allegations of a disabled veteran who said the truth-challenged congressman scammed him out of $3,000 that was intended for his service dog’s lifesaving surgery.
On Tuesday, U.S. Navy veteran Richard Osthoff told Patch that in 2016, he was homeless and trying to find a way to fund surgery so his dog, Sapphire, could have a tumor removed from its stomach.
A lab tech helped connect Osthoff with Santos, who was running a charity called Friends of Pets United under the name “Antony Devolder.”
Osthoff told NBC News that Santos’ group set up a GoFundMe page that raised $3,000 for the surgery, but then the future congressman stopped responding to calls.
Osthoff said he never received any money from the charity and had “to panhandle” to pay for Sapphire to be euthanized and cremated.
On Thursday, Santos took to Twitter and said: “The reports that I would let a dog die is shocking & insane. My work in animal advocacy was the labor of love & hard work.”
He continued, “over the past 24hr, I have received pictures of dogs I helped rescue throughout the years along with supportive messages,” before adding a promise: ”These distractions won’t stop me!”
However, considering the animal charity scam allegations come when Santos is facing multiple federal and local investigations for fabricating his background and campaign finance violations, it’s no wonder Twitter users were skeptical of his claims of innocence.