Money allegedly missing from ‘Shop with Cop’

Beth Sergent

October 28, 2013

MASON COUNTY — A solicitor contracted to raise funds for the local Shop with a Cop program at Christmas, is under investigation for alleged fraud which could have victims in not only Mason County, but Meigs and Gallia counties in Ohio, as well.

According to Sgt. T.S. Mills of the West Virginia State Police, Mason County Post, during the course of the fund drive for the program offered by the Mason County Sheriff’s Association, deputies became aware that all of the collected funds may not have been deposited into the sheriff’s association bank account by the contracted solicitor.

Upon receiving this information, the sheriff’s association contacted the W.Va. State Police to investigate the solicitor which has not been named at this point.

This fund drive was primarily conducted in Mason County as well as in Meigs and Gallia counties in Ohio. According to the W.Va. State Police, the solicitor contacted persons and businesses by telephone and then sent a solicitor to the person or business who then collected the donation.

Investigators are specifically looking to contact those who gave cash donations only to the program, because at this time, it appears that all of the cash donations may not have been deposited into the sheriff’s association account, according to the news release from the state police. The Mason County Post of the W.Va. State Police are requesting any business or person who gave a cash donation to the Shop with a Cop fund drive to call or stop by the post or the Mason County Sheriff’s Department to fill out a form.

There will also be forms available at all law enforcement agency offices in Mason County for those who gave cash donations. These forms and complaints will be considered in this alleged fraud investigation.

If anyone has any questions contact the state police detachment at 304-675-0850 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Monday-Friday.

The Shop with a Cop program allows underprivileged kids to purchase Christmas gifts for their families and themselves during the holiday season while accompanied by law enforcement officers.