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- The FBI is kicking off an investigation into Santos over a potential GoFundMe scam, per Politico.
- Military veteran Rich Osthoff told Politico he was contacted by two FBI agents on Wednesday.
- Osthoff in January accused Santos of taking over $3,000 from a fundraiser meant for a dying dog.
Federal agents are investigating accusations that Republican Rep. George Santos took more than $3,000 from a GoFundMe fundraiser meant for a military veteran’s dying dog, per Politico.
Rich Osthoff, a former service member who lives in New Jersey, told Politico he was contacted on Wednesday by agents seeking information on Santos.
“I’m glad to get the ball rolling with the big-wigs,” Osthoff told Politico. “I was worried that what happened to me was too long ago to be prosecuted.”
Osthoff in January accused Santos of pocketing $3,000 that was intended for his dog, Sapphire, who was dying from a stomach tumor.
Osthoff told the news outlet Patch that he had been introduced to a man named Anthony Devolder — one of Santos’ known aliases — in 2016. Devolder set up a GoFundMe page for Sapphire in May 2016. However, Devolder started ghosting Osthoff after more than $3,000 was raised, Patch reported.
Osthoff told Patch Sapphire died in January 2017 after he could not afford to pay for her surgery.
GoFundMe told Insider in January that the platform removed Santos’ fundraiser for Sapphire in 2016, and put a ban on his email after they could not contact him.
“When we received a report of an issue with this fundraiser in late 2016, our trust and safety team sought proof of the delivery of funds from the organizer,” GoFundMe told Insider.
“The organizer failed to respond, which led to the fundraiser being removed and the email associated with that account prohibited from further use on our platform,” GoFundMe added in its statement.
ABC reporter Will Steakin asked Santos questions about the investigation on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Santos told Steakin he has “no clue” about the DBI investigation, and has “never met” Osthoff.
Santos previously denied knowing Osthoff in a January response to Semafor, when news about the GoFundMe first broke.
“Fake,” Santos told Semafor via text message. “No clue who this is.”
A representative for Santos did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Santos has admitted to lying about various elements of his past, including going to university, being Jewish, and working at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. The congressman this week said he will step down from his positions on two House committees.
Despite these scandals, Santos has refused to resign from his congressional seat, saying he will only do so if the people who voted for him in New York demand it. But a poll of Santos’ district this week indicated that an overwhelming 78% of voters in the district want Santos out.
The Department of Justice and the US Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York did not respond to requests for comment from Insider.