Just When You Think George Santos Couldn't Get Any Worse

AP Photo/John Locher, File

Remember Madison Cawthorn? Even though he only lost his primary bid last spring, it seems like ages since we’ve heard anything out of the embattled former North Carolina representative. Cawthorn courted scandal and lascivious accusations everywhere he went. Driving on a suspended license, a TSA-confiscated gun, alleged insider trading on a cryptocurrency scheme, and sexcapades kept Cawthorn in the headlines during his tumultuous term in office.


Now that Cawthorn is out of Congress, Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) has stepped in to fill the void. Santos has brought his own brand of scandal to the headlines. Santos has lied at Biden-level about most everything on his resume and about his biography, including his Jewish (sorry, Jew-ish) heritage.

But a new accusation against Santos has emerged, and if it’s true, it might seal the congressman’s reputation as worse than that of Cawthorn.

A disabled veteran now claims that Santos took $3,000 from him. The veteran needed the money for cancer treatments for his service dog, and Santos promised to help the man but instead took the money and ran.

“In May 2016, Richard Osthoff was living in a tent in an abandoned chicken coop on the side of Route 9 in Howell, New Jersey, with his beloved service dog Sapphire. A veteran’s charity gave the pit mix to Osthoff, a disabled veteran who was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy in 2002,” reports Jacqueline Sweet at Patch.

Santos, using the name Anthony Devolder and claiming to represent a pet charity called Friends of Pets United, set up a GoFundMe to raise the money Osthoff needed to give his dog life-saving surgery. Friends of Pets United isn’t a registered non-profit in New York, according to the New York Times.


For Our VIPs: Should the GOP Forget About George Santos?

“Dear all, When a veteran reaches out to ask for help, how can you say no,” began the GoFundMe appeal. Once the GoFundMe was underway and money was coming in, Osthoff claims that Santos/”Devolder” stopped answering phone calls.

“I only talked to him two or three times on the phone,” Osthoff told Patch. Once the fundraising campaign met the goals, the GoFundMe entry disappeared, and Santos changed the location for the dog’s procedure and even told Osthoff that he couldn’t be present for his own dog’s surgery.

“After that, Osthoff said Santos became elusive,” Patch reports. “In November, Osthoff texted him, ‘I’m starting to feel like I was mined for my family and friends donations.'”

Later, Santos claimed that the veterinarian couldn’t operate on the dog and that the charity would be using the money for another animal. Osthoff enlisted the help of retired police Sgt. Michael Boll, who told Santos, “You’re messing with a veteran,” but it was all to no avail. The dog died in early 2017, but Boll said that “luckily [Osthoff] was able to get a new service dog right away.”


“When Osthoff and Boll saw Santos on television in December 2022 after the scandal around his admitted resume fabrications broke, they called each other, shocked to see the Anthony Devolder who took the fundraiser money years ago,” Patch reports.

Osthoff never got his money, and Santos somehow made his way to Congress. At this point, plenty of us are wondering whether Santos’ story could get any worse.


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