Nassau County officials to raise money Santos promised to veteran when his dog was dying

Thursday, January 19, 2023
Santos' alleged lie to veteran prompts new action from LI officials
Nassau County officials will donate $3,000 to an animal charity after George Santos kept donations from an NJ disabled veteran whose dog was dying. Darla Miles has the story.

MINEOLA, Nassau County (WABC) -- While George Santos is accused of stealing money from a disabled veteran, a Nassau County legislator is working to right one of the wrongs allegedly committed by the embattled congressman.

On Thursday, officials announced a new fundraiser to raise $3,000 for the animal charity Paws of War.

"We started a GoFundMe with the goal of raising $3,000, the exact amount that George Santos stole," Nassau County Legislator Joshua Lafazan said. "George Santos did something that was unforgiveable and we're here to make it right."

Santos was recently accused of stealing money from the disabled veteran who was trying to save the life of his dying service dog.

Veteran Richard Osthoff told Eyewitness News that Santos, who went by the name "Anthony Devolder," promised to raise the money for his service dog, Sapphire, who had cancer.

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Osthoff says Santos set up a GoFundMe page and offered to raise money for his dog through a charity that apparently doesn't exist.

In a tweet on Thursday, Santos denied stealing the cash,

But Osthoff said he never got the money.

"When the money was there, I wanted to go back to the vet, he would not let me have the money to go to the veterinarian, I started getting angry with him, arguing back and forth with text messages, he even told me they would try to make her as comfortable as possible in her last hours, he never did that," Osthoff said.

The veteran was devastated he couldn't save the dog that for 10 years saved him from PTSD and suicidal thoughts.

New Jersey Veterans Network boss Michael Boll says even he tried talking to Devolder about the $3,000.

"He said he wanted to give it to other charities, he claimed, or other places, I was like no you can't do that," Boll said.

GoFundMe says it shut down the account and the associated email in 2016 when the organizer failed to respond to its inquiry.

A source close to the GoFundMe situation confirmed to ABC News that it was George Santos who ran the fundraising account originally to help Osthoff dog receive surgery.

"I had to panhandle for the money and plead just to have her euthanized," Osthoff said.

Santos was caught in another life involving the whereabouts of his mother on 9/11. He said she was a survivor who made it out of the South Tower and fought cancer until her death.

However, ABC News obtained immigration records showing his mother wasn't even in the country when the towers fell.

The latest scandal Thursday morning is a picture appearing to show the openly gay congressman performing in drag in Brazil in 2008. ABC News has confirmed the story first reported by independent journalist Marisa Kabas.

"And drag specifically has become such a hot button political issue, so the timing of it is really so interesting and it's going to test Republicans to see how they actually feel about drag versus what they were making of it," Kabas said.

In another tweet Thursday, Santos denied ever performing in drag.

Santos has already admitted to lying to Queens and Long Island voters about where he worked, went to college and his Jewish heritage.

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