Monday, May 29, 2023

George Santos was accused of issuing $15,125 in bad checks for 'puppies,' but the theft charge was dropped after he said his checkbook was stolen, report says

George Santos was accused of issuing $15,125 in bad checks for 'puppies,' but the theft charge was dropped after he said his checkbook was stolen, report says

Days after the bad checks were written to Amish dog breeders, Rep. George Santos's charity held an adoption event at a pet store in New York.
Republican Rep. George Santos's claims about his past charity work with rescued pets have come under increased scrutiny this week, with more and more people accusing him of keeping thousands of dollars meant for animals.

But the congressman was actually charged with theft in Pennsylvania back in 2017 and accused of writing thousands of dollars of bad checks that had notes like "puppies" on the memo lines, Politico reported Thursday.

Tiffany Bogosian, a New York attorney who attended junior high with Santos, told the outlet she helped him deal with the charge after they had reconnected. Bogosian confirmed details in a call with Insider.

Santos made out $15,125 in checks to dog breeders in an Amish area of the state, Politico reported. Days later, a pet store in Staten Island, Pet Oasis, held an adoption event in conjunction with Friends of Pets United, a pet charity Santos has claimed to have founded, according to Politico and the store's Instagram page.

In 2020, Santos asked Bogosian for help addressing the theft charges, telling her that his checkbook had been stolen so he had called the bank to cancel the checkbook before they had been cashed, causing the checks to bounce.

The November 2017 checks, which were obtained by Politico, have the name "George A Santos" on them, but no address or contact information. The memo lines say "puppies" or "puppy," and the signatures on each check all appear different.

Bogosian told Insider she did not think Santos was the most trustworthy person, due to what he was like when they were younger.

"He would always lie, about stupid things," she said. Still, she decided to help him because of their past and because the story had piqued her interest. Now she no longer believes his story that the checkbook had been stolen.

The theft by deception charge was ultimately dropped and was expunged from Santos's record in 2021, a representative for the York County District Court confirmed to Politico. A reason for the charge being expunged was not given.

A representative for Santos and York County did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.

Bogosian has previously come forward with questionable behavior by Santos. She told The Washington Post last month Santos had tried to get her client to invest with Harbor City Capital, a firm he worked at that the SEC has described as a Ponzi scheme.

The animal charity accusations are among the many controversies concerning Santos's past. The congressman has admitted to lying about or exaggerating his work and education history and personal background.

The FBI is also investigating if Santos scammed a military veteran by pocketing funds that were intended for his dying service dog, which the congressman has denied.

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