According to Politico, Santos was charged with theft by deception in 2017 in Pennsylvania’s Amish Country after a series of bad checks totaling $15,125 were written in his name to dog breeders in the area.
But while the truth-challenged congressman was charged with the crimes, it was later expunged from Santos’ record after he claimed his checkbook had been stolen.
Attorney Tiffany Bogosian, who was a middle school classmate of Santos and reconnected with him in 2020, told Politico that the then-future congressman told her the checkbook had gone missing in 2017 and blamed someone he knew for its disappearance.
He also told her that he “canceled the checkbook” with TD Bank as soon as he had noticed it was gone.
In February 2020, Bogosian sent an email to “Trooper Adams” arguing Santos case using the information he gave her.
“As such no checks were ever cashed or presented against his account due to his cancellation of all checks linked to this account. The account was closed on March 3, 2018, for personal reasons unrelated to any alleged fraud on his account (banking preference),” Bogosian wrote.
The message included copies of nine canceled checks to eight different people and corresponding bank statements from Santos’ account showing a negative balance of $690 on Nov. 4, 2017, and another negative balance of $349 on Dec. 3, 2017.
Bogosian told the trooper that the signatures were different on each of the checks and attached Santos’ New York State driver’s license to show the signature on that ID didn’t match any of the ones on the checks.
She also said that Santos was clearly a victim of fraud — but hadn’t realized it until he was served with a warrant because he had already closed the account and canceled the checks.
But Bogosian told Politico she now doesn’t believe her former classmate’s claim after he tried to get one of her personal injury clients to invest with a Florida firm that the Securities and Exchange Commission later said was a Ponzi scheme.
“I did think it was so weird at the time that his checks didn’t have his address or phone number listed on them,” she said. “To be honest, even at the time I questioned it.”
The news of Santos being charged with stealing puppies comes weeks after a disabled veteran accused him of fundraising for his service dog’s lifesaving surgery and then disappearing with the money.
And, while it’s not definitively dog-related, it should be noted that Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) referred to Santos as a “sick puppy” for the way he paraded for attention at Monday’s State of the Union address despite facing an ethics investigation.
HuffPost reached out to Santos’ office for comment, but no one immediately responded. Twitter users, however, were happy to fill the void.