UNION, NJ (WABC) — As George Santos stands accused of stealing money from a disabled veteran, the Nassau County legislator is working to right his wrongs.
On Thursday, officials will hold a press conference to announce their new fundraiser to raise $3,000 for the animal charity, Paws of War.
Santos was recently accused of stealing money from a disabled veteran who was trying to save the life of his dying service dog.
Richard Osthoff says Santos, who called himself “Anthony Devolder,” promised to raise the same $3,000 for his service dog, Sapphire, who had cancer.
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“I knew I knew him from somewhere, I had a sick feeling in my stomach when I saw his face,” Richard Osthoff said.
Osthoff saw Santos on the news when a reporter hounded him with a question.
“As soon as they said ‘what’s your name today, is it George Santos or Anthony Devolder,’ I was like ahhh that’s when it hit me,” Osthoff said.
Osthoff says Santos created a GoFundMe page but never sent the money. Then his dog passed away.
“When the money was there, I wanted to go back to the vet, he wouldn’t let me have the money to go to the vet, I started getting mad at him, arguing back and forth with text messages, he even told me that they would try to make her feel as comfortable as possible in his final hours, he never did that,” Osthoff said.
The veteran was devastated that he was unable to save the dog that for 10 years saved him from PTSD and suicidal thoughts.
“She knew when my mood was changing, she knew when I was going crazy,” he said.
New Jersey Veterans Network boss Michael Boll says he even tried to talk to Devolder about the $3,000.
“He said he wanted to give it to other charities, he claimed, or other places, I said no, you can’t do that,” Boll said.
GoFundMe says it closed the account and associated email in 2016 when the organizer didn’t respond to its inquiry.
We reached out to George Santos’ attorney and have not heard back, but Santos allegedly sent a text message to a news outlet calling Osthoff’s story “false” and saying “I have no idea who he is.”
A source close to the GoFundMe situation confirmed to ABC News that it was George Santos who originally ran the fundraising account to help Osthoff’s dog receive surgery.
“I had to beg for the money and beg just to have her put down,” Osthoff said.
Santos has already admitted to lying to Queens and Long Island voters about where he worked, where he went to college and about his Jewish heritage.
An interview with Santos recently resurfaced in which he stated that his mother was in New York on September 11 and survived. It turned out that she was not even in the United States that day.
“Finding out that this is a person representing the state of New York is pretty scary,” Boll said.
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