Santos Faced 2017 Theft Charge Over Bad Checks For ‘Puppies,’ Report Says


Disgraced Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) was charged with theft in 2017 over a series of bad checks written in his name to Pennsylvania dog breeders before authorities decided not to pursue the case, according to Politico, as an immense list of accusations against Santos ranging from bizarre to criminal grows even longer.

Key Facts

Some $15,125 in checks with the memo line “puppies” were written in Santos’ name to dog breeders in Pennsylvania’s Amish Country in November 2017, Politico reported, citing court records and New York City-based attorney Tiffany Bogosian, Santos’ former friend who convinced police to drop the charge.

The checks were reportedly written just days before Santos held an adoption event for Friends of Pets United, his so-called charity which the Internal Revenue Service has no record of, according to the New York Times.

Bogosian told Politico Santos came to her for help in early 2020 after the New York Police Department served him with an extradition warrant for the theft charge.

She reportedly said Santos told her a story about how he lost his checkbook in 2017 but called his bank to cancel it—a story Bogosian said she no longer believes.

Bogosian then relayed the story to Pennsylvania authorities, attaching copies of the bad checks that each had signatures different from the one on Santos’ driver’s license, which convinced them to drop the charges.

Santos’ office declined to comment.

Key Background

Santos’ presence in Congress has become a spectacle, as he ignores bipartisan calls to resign and dodges questions about the myriad accusations against him, like his alleged involvement in a Ponzi scheme and the purported theft of thousands of dollars in GoFundMe money intended to pay for a dying dog’s surgery. Santos has denied any criminal wrongdoing, even though he admitted to fabricating parts of his background after the New York Times reported last year he made up essentially his entire résumé. The congressman is facing at least five different criminal investigations, including a Justice Department probe into alleged “financial irregularities” stemming from a $700,000 loan he made to his 2022 congressional campaign after he only reported $50,000 in income two years earlier. Santos says he fully intends to serve out his term, even though he stepped down from his two committee assignments last month under mounting pressure related to the scandals.

What To Watch For

Five House Democrats introduced a measure Thursday to expel Santos from Congress over his lies. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said this week a House Ethics Committee investigation into Santos was moving forward. McCarthy has said if the committee finds wrongdoing, he will support removing Santos from Congress.

Further Reading

Santos was charged with theft in 2017 case tied to Amish dog breeders (Politico)

George Santos Reportedly Claimed To Be A Broadway Musical Producer: Here’s Everything The Embattled Congressman Has Lied About (Forbes)

George Santos Stands Down From Committee Assignments Amid Lying Scandal (Forbes)

House Ethics Committee Investigating George Santos, McCarthy Confirms (Forbes)

House Democrats Push To Expel Santos From Congress (Forbes)