The latest chapter in the unfolding story of claims of lies and fraud against Representative George Santos may just be the darkest one yet. Richard Osthoff, a United States Navy veteran, claims that in 2016 Santos, going by the alias Anthony Devolder, stole $3,000 from a GoFundMe project to save the life of the then-homeless veteran’s service dog, Sapphire, who ultimately died.
In response to the claim, Nassau County Legislator Josh Lafazan held a press conference this morning condemning Santos’ alleged theft and calling on Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy to remove Santos from Congress.
“I’m here to say that this is the final straw,” Lafazan asserted. “That dog ended up dying, and this veteran, who already had PTSD, is scarred for life.”
Mitch Farman, a Vietnam War veteran and resident of Oyster Bay, joined Lafazan in his condemnation of the embattled Republican congressman. Farman pointed out that not only were Santos’ actions contemptible, but the fact that he’s become a pariah on Long Island means he won’t be able to fulfill his duties to his constituents, including the many veterans and veteran organizations who rely on Congress for funding and aid.
“Twenty veterans a day commit suicide in this country,” Farman said. “What George Santos did here is despicable; what he’s done all along is despicable.”
Santos has denied the allegations.
Lafazan also explained that he has set up a GoFundMe for Paws of War, an animal protection organization that trains and provides service dogs for veterans suffering for PTSD. The project’s goal is to raise $3,000, the same amount allegedly stolen by Santos, and can be found at gofundme.com/f/raise-3000-for-paws-of-war.
Additionally, Santos continues to struggle with mounting condemnation from local and national politicians, including Democrats and Republicans. His campaign finances have come under particular scrutiny, with at least four separate investigations having been launched against him.