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- A military veteran has accused George Santos of taking money from his sick dog’s GoFundMe.
- Rich Osthoff says he spoke to one Anthony Devolder — a known alias of Santos’ — about fundraising.
- Santos has denied knowing Osthoff.
A military veteran is accusing the scandal-ridden Rep. George Santos of taking $3,000 worth of GoFundMe funds meant for his dying dog.
Rich Osthoff, who lives in New Jersey, spoke to the media outlet Patch about a conversation he had with a man named Anthony Devolder in 2016. Devolder is one of Santos’ known aliases.
Osthoff told the media outlet his dog Sapphire was dying from a stomach tumor and that Devolder offered to help, starting a GoFundMe page for Sapphire in May 2016. But after the GoFundMe raised $3,000, Osthoff says Devolder closed the fundraising page and started ghosting him.
Osthoff said that during one phone conversation, Devolder told him the money raised from Sapphire’s GoFundMe would be going to “other dogs,” per Patch. Devolder eventually stopped answering Osthoff’s texts and calls, Osthoff said.
The New York Times reported on December 19 that Santos claimed to have founded a charity called Friends of Pets United from 2013 to 2018. But the Times found no record of Friends of Pets United ever having been registered as a charity.
Insider saw multiple posts on Osthoff’s Facebook page from May to July 2016 that linked out to a GoFundMe page titled, “Click here to support sapphire The Veteran rescue! by Anthony Devolder.” The page has been deleted, and the Internet archive Wayback Machine does not have a record of the fundraiser.
Osthoff said Sapphire died in January 2017 and that he could not afford to cremate her. “I had to panhandle. It was one of the most degrading things I ever had to do,” Osthoff told Patch.
Santos has denied knowing Osthoff.
“Fake,” Santos told Semafor via text message. “No clue who this is.”
Santos has admitted to lying about various elements of his past, including going to university, being Jewish, and working at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. However, the congressman has refused to resign, saying he will only do so if as many people demand his resignation as voted for him.
Osthoff and representatives for GoFundMe and Santos did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.