United States Rep. George Santos at the 118th Congress convenes at the US Capitol

Rep. George Santos Hit With Criminal Charges By The Justice Department

Home / Politics / Rep. George Santos Hit With Criminal Charges By The Justice Department

By Afouda Bamidele on May 10, 2023 at 11:45 AM EDT

The U.S. representative for New York's 3rd congressional district George Santos is in legal hot waters!

The Republican who allegedly became prominent for a slew of outright lies, exaggerations, and irregularities regarding his campaign finances and personal background has been hit with federal charges. While information about the nature of the tasks is still unfolding, multiple people, including comedian Chelsea Handler, have since called for the politician to resign.

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The FBI & Justice Department Hit Rep. George Santos With Federal Charges

Santos' life is about to get even harder following the charges laid against him by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Justice Department. According to CNN, the outfits' public integrity prosecutors in New York and Washington have been investigating allegations of false statements in the 34-year-old's campaign finance filings, amongst others.

While the details of the federal charges filed in New York's eastern district have remained sealed, it was reported that he was expected to appear in court as early as today. During his short time in office, Santos has been accused of exhibiting corrupt practices, including breaking campaign finance laws, orchestrating a credit card fraud scheme, and lying about where he went to school and worked.

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He has also been accused of stealing money for a disabled Iraq War veteran's dying service dog. The veteran, Richard Osthoff, alleged that the scam occurred in 2016 when he lived in a New Jersey tent along a highway with his dog, Sapphire.

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United States Representative George Santos (Republican of New York) speaks to a reporter as he arrives at his Capitol Hill office in Washington, DC
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Things turned awful for Osthoff when Sapphire became ill and was diagnosed with a stomach tumor that required surgery. Unfortunately, he could not pay the $3,000 bill, leading him to find help elsewhere.

The old-timer soon met Santos, who was going by the name Anthony Devolder and seemingly running a pet charity called 'Friends of Pets United.' The politician neglected to mention that he was using one of the many aliases formed from his legal name —  George Anthony Devolder Santos — and promised to help Osthoff. 

To that end, he set up a GoFundMe page for Sapphire's procedure. However, the embattled congressman closed the page when it reached the $3,000 mark and became "increasingly difficult to contact," even though he asked Osthoff to take the pet to another vet clinic he recommended.

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The veteran soon discovered that his dog's tumor was inoperable, and Santos had used the money from the campaign for "other dogs." Sapphire passed the following year, leading the Navy retiree to seek legal redress for the scam and loss.

The Blast reported that Osthoff saw the alleged scam as wire and charity fraud and called the lawmaker a swindler who used an alias to escape the crime. He also shared that he was working with government agencies to hit him with criminal charges.

The Brazilian Native Was Told By Chelsea Handler To Quit His Political Office

Chelsea Handler at the 28th Annual Critics' Choice Awards, Arrivals, Los Angeles

Handler called for Santos' resignation in an Instagram clip that opened with her holding a copy of her book, "Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me" in February. Per The Blast, the comedian explained that her purpose for making the video was to "talk about another notorious liar, George Santos."

"Lying isn't the only thing George and I have in common. I also got my start in pageants," the "Chelsea Does" documentary lead stated, referring to a side-by-side shot of herself and Santos in pageant outfits that popped up on the footage.

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While the Republican donned a wig, makeup, and a red dress, a little Handler paired a blue satin dress with a "Teen of America" sash. The "Chelsea Lately" alum then expressed that Santos "is much more than a half Black Jewish gay college volleyball star whose mother died in 9/11 and then again several years later, he's a congressman, and that part is true."

Later in the clip, the "Uganda Be Kidding Me" author mentioned that Florida's Don't Say Gay bill was backed by Santos and asked viewers to get "George Santos or Anthony Devolder or Vicky Christina Barcelona or whatever the f**k name he's going by now" to leave office.

Handler stated that if the alleged United for Trump campaigner refused to resign, he could at least lend "one of his dresses to Majorie Taylor Green."

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