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Incoming NY Rep. Santos Used Made-Up Name For Pet Charity's Online Fundraiser, Report Says

Incoming New York Rep. George Santos speaks at a campaign event in the Little Neck neighborhood of Queens in September 2022.
Incoming New York Rep. George Santos speaks at a campaign event in the Little Neck neighborhood of Queens in September 2022. Photo Credit: Facebook/George Santos for Congress NY-3

New York’s embattled incoming Congressman George Santos is facing new accusations that he lied about his background while on the campaign trail.

The Republican, set to represent the state’s 3rd Congressional District on Long Island’s North Shore, and parts of Queens, appears to have used the alias “Anthony Zabrovsky” for a pet charity on a GoFundMe campaign that has since been deleted, The Hill reports

Santos previously claimed that his mother’s family’s historical Jewish name was “Zabrovsky,” and that they changed it to conceal their Jewish heritage.

“We don’t carry the Ukrainian last name,” Santos told Fox News in February 2022. “For a lot of people who are descendants of World War II refugees or survivors of the Holocaust, a lot of names and paperwork were changed in the name of survival,” he continued.

“So I don’t carry the family last name that would’ve been Zabrovsky. I carry my mother’s maiden name which is the Dutch side of the family.”

However, a genealogist that CNN spoke with found no evidence of Jewish or Ukrainian heritage in his family tree, the outlet reports

On Tuesday, Dec. 27, The Republican Jewish Coalition announced on Twitter that Santos is not welcome at organization events after he “deceived” the group and “misrepresented” his Jewish heritage.

In an interview with the New York Post , Santos said he is Catholic, but because he learned his maternal family had a Jewish background, he jokes that he is “Jew-ish.”

Questions about the new Congressman’s background began swirling after a bombshell New York Times report alleging that Santos lied about working as a “seasoned Wall Street financier and investor.”

Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, where Santos previously claimed to have worked, have no record of him, the outlet reports. His supposed alma maters, Baruch College and NYU, also claimed he had never attended.

Santos admitted to The Post that he had “never worked directly” for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, calling that claim a “poor choice of words.” Instead, he said he was a vice president at another company, Link Bridge, that did business with those companies.

“I will be clearer about that,” Santos told The Post. “It was stated poorly.”

Santos also admitted that he never graduated from any college, despite previous claims that he obtained a degree from Baruch in 2010.

“I’m embarrassed and sorry for having embellished my resume,” he told The Post.

Santos, who made history as the first openly gay non-incumbent Republican and the first Brazilian-American elected to Congress, is now being investigated by both the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office and federal prosecutors from the Eastern District of New York, NBC News reports

He had not publicly responded to news of the investigations as of Thursday evening, Dec. 29.

Fellow New York Congressman Ritchie Torres, a Democrat representing the 15th District in New York City, said Nassau County's investigation would be “the first of many to come.”

“Santos will be gone by the end of his term or well before then,” Torres said on Twitter. “He should RESIGN.”

Rep.-elect Nick LaLota, a Republican set to represent the 1st District in Suffolk County, echoed Torres’ call for an investigation, saying Long Islanders were “deeply troubled” by the admissions.

“As a Navy man who campaigned on restoring accountability and integrity to our government, I believe a full investigation by the House Ethics Committee and, if necessary, law enforcement, is required,” LaLota said in a statement.

“New Yorkers deserve the truth and House Republicans deserve an opportunity to govern without this distraction.”

Santos’ Democratic opponent in the 2022 general election, Robert Zimmerman, has since called on him to resign and face an election do-over.

“George, if that’s even your real name, if you’re so convinced that #NY03 voters still trust you - resign & run against me again in a special election,” Zimmerman said on Twitter.

“Face the voters with your real past & answer questions about your criminal history. Let the voters decide.”

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