George Santos, the embattled New York legislator accused of lying about his campaign biography before being elected to the House of Representatives in November, has ties to alleged fraud in Lancaster County.
Multiple news outlets have reported that Santos allegedly purchased multiple puppies at Lancaster County farms in November of 2017, issuing nine checks in the amount of more than $15,000 that later bounced.
In its report on Feb. 9, Politico posted the nine checks with the name “George A. Santos” listed at the top and “puppies” written on several checks in the subject listing.
CNN reporter Gary Tuchman tracked down one of the farmers listed on the checks in the Politico story for his own report posted on Feb. 14. Tuchman showed the farmer, who was not identified, a picture of Santos, and the farmer identified him as the person who came to his farm.
“He seemed uncomfortable and nervous and fidgety,” the farmer told CNN. “So that’s when I started getting suspicious.”
The Amishman told CNN the man who identified himself as “George” came with a female assistant, finalizing a deal for two German Shepherd puppies in the milk house of his barn.
The man named George picked out two puppies and had his assistant take them to their vehicle, the farmer said, and he proceeded to pull out a check to pay for the dogs. The farmer said he doesn’t accept checks for dogs, only cash.
“He said, ‘Would you expect me to carry enough of cash to buy a bunch of puppies on a trip like this? I do not have cash. The only thing I can give you is a check’,” the Amish farmer said. “Well, I thought to myself, ‘It looks like I’m done.’…It was obvious to me by that time they probably pulled a fast one on me.”
The farmer accepted the check, CNN reported, and it later came back with insufficient funds. The farmer told CNN he never received the money back or heard from anyone about the incident.
CNN said it received no comment from Santos or his attorney regarding the alleged bounced checks or the purchase of dogs.
“I’m disappointed that a person like that would have a chance to get into the House of Representatives,” the farmer told CNN.
Politico reported that a representative from the York County District Court in Pennsylvania confirmed Santos was charged in November 2017 with theft by deception for one of the instances, but the record was expunged in November 2021. No records could be found on the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania Web Portal listing past and pending criminal cases across the state.