A Tennessee man has been charged with wire-fraud. Federal prosecutors claim that the man created a fraudulent charity relating to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting massacre in Newton, Connecticut. The 34-year-old personal trainer is expected to be indicted on six counts of wire fraud next Monday.
Readers of this blog will no doubt remember the horrifically tragic December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where a 20-year-old attacker, Adam Lanza, murdered 26 children before killing himself.
Allegedly Spent Money on Himself and His Business
Prosecutors have accused the man in this case of collecting donations to support family members of the shooting victims and finance school safety improvements. Prosecutors allege that the man spent the donations on himself and his personal training business rather than the charity. It has not been revealed how much money the charity collected, or how much the man spent on himself.
The accused man allegedly used charity-themed athletic events to solicit many of its donations, including a New Hampshire run called "Schools 4 Schools" and a Tennessee event called "Cross Fit Cares." The charity creator advertised these events on social media and used online donation portals. He assured donors that the funds were going to be used to make safety improvements at schools, help victims' families, increase prevention and awareness and create memorials for the teachers who died defending their children in the shooting.
Could Spend 20 Years in Prison
If convicted of the white collar crimes, this 34-year-old personal trainer could spend the next 20 years of his life behind bars. However, it is important to remember that we have only heard one side of the story -- the prosecution's version of the facts. This man will have the right to defend himself in court and assert his own version of the facts. Indeed, the prosecution will still be under the burden of proof in this case; and, barring their ability to prove the man's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, he will not be found guilty or punished for the alleged crimes.
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