David Becker for the Washington Post/via Getty Images
- GoFundMe says it took down a 2016 fundraiser for a dying dog that was linked to George Santos.
- GoFundMe said its trust and safety team could not contact him, and later suspended his account.
- GoFundMe told Insider it has a “zero tolerance policy” for the misuse of its services.
GoFundMe says it suspended Rep. George Santos’ account from its platform in late 2016 and removed a fundraiser he started for a dying dog.
GoFundMe was responding to queries from Insider about a new scandal plaguing Santos. As first reported by Patch, a military veteran is accusing Santos of taking $3,000 worth of GoFundMe funds meant for the man’s sick dog.
“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 platform was responding to Insider’s questions on the fundraiser, started by one Anthony Devolder. Devolder is one of Santos’ known aliases.
“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.
The platform told Insider that it has a “zero tolerance policy” for misuse of its services. It added that it cooperates with law enforcement officers who are investigating accusations of wrongdoing.
GoFundMe did not immediately respond to follow-up queries on when the fundraiser was removed.
Rich Osthoff, a veteran who lives in New Jersey, is accusing Santos of pilfering the GoFundMe funds. Osthoff told Patch that a man named Anthony Devolder started a GoFundMe page for his sick dog, Sapphire, in 2016.
GoFundMe confirmed to Insider that the fundraiser raised over $3,000. But Osthoff says Devolder changed tack after the fundraiser hit the $3,000 mark, saying the cash would go to other dogs before eventually ghosting Osthoff altogether.
Santos he has denied knowing Osthoff, calling the Patch story “fake” in a text message to Semafor.
Osthoff and representatives for Santos did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.