Speed Reads

'the big guys finally picked it up'

FBI investigating George Santos' role in dog fundraising scheme

The disabled Navy veteran who accused Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) of taking thousands of dollars raised for his dying service dog announced on Wednesday that he has spoken with the FBI about the incident.

The vet, Richard Osthoff, says that in 2016, a GoFundMe was set up to raise money for his dog, Sapphire, who needed surgery. Santos helped bring in donations through a charity linked to him, but when it was time to turn over the $3,000 that had been raised, Santos started "coming up with all these excuses," Osthoff said, before refusing to give him any of the money. Osthoff could not afford the surgery, and Sapphire died.

Osthoff told Politico and NBC News on Wednesday that he spoke with FBI agents over the phone and has turned over the records and information they requested.  "I'm elated the big guys finally picked it up," Osthoff told NBC News. "I turned over all my text messages and I'm in the process of turning over everything related to the GoFundMe campaign."

Santos is in the center of several scandals, including lying about his education and work experience and potentially committing multiple campaign finance violations, and federal prosecutors in New York opened an investigation into Santos in December, law enforcement officials told NBC News. Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) told Politico there is "no one that poses a greater threat in Congress than Santos. It's undeniable that he's broken the law. We have to protect Congress from George Santos, who threatens it from within."