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Victims sought after charity busted for fraud

Photo source: Santa Rosa County Jail

Federal investigators are looking for people who gave money to a children’s charity busted for fraud.

Gary R. Tomey of Pace ran the scheme under several names, including Children and Family Services and Children’s Charitable Services.

In May, a jury convicted Tomey of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in connection with a telemarketing scheme. He was also found guilty on seven substantive counts of mail fraud in connection with a telemarketing scheme.

Between December 2008 and May 2012, Tomey hired people to work in a call center in Milton. Workers were told to solicit donations from people in seven states, including Florida and Alabama. They were instructed to tell donors that 100% of the donations would go to charity. Prosecutors say they collected more than two-million dollars, and less than ten percent of it went to charitable causes. The rest paid salaries, business expenses, and Tomey’s personal expenses.

FBI agents raided the call center in May, 2012. When an indictment came down in October, 2015, it stated that Tomey intentionally used a charity name that was similar to a state agency and failed to disclose that his organizations had been previously sanctioned in other states for fraudulent solicitations.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange says anyone who gave to Tomey’s bogus charities should come forward, in case they can receive restitution.

“Mr. Tomey and his organization deliberately and maliciously defrauded consumers who opened their hearts and their wallets to the plight of children who they believed would be helped,” Strange said.

Alternate names used by Tomey include Alabama Children Services or Alabama Children and Family Services, Arkansas Children and Family Services, Florida Children and Family Services, Indiana Children Services or Indiana Children and Family Services, Ohio Children Services, Tennessee Children and Family Services or Youth Achievement League Inc.

Strange says anyone who believes they have been victimized should contact Victim/Witness Specialist Gretchen Busbee at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Florida at (850) 444-4000 or Gretchen.Busbee@usdoj.gov.

Tomey will be sentenced on September 26th.

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