Don Tollefson Surrenders To Police In Warminster

Don Tollefson Surrenders To Police In Warminster

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Warminster Twp., PA -

Former Philadelphia Television Personality Don Tollefson surrendered to police in Warminster to face charges of charity fraud.

Prosecutors Allege Tollefson bilked more than a hundred people of more than a $100,000, over a three year period. They believe there are many more victims who've yet to come forward.

Prosecutors are calling those hundred or so victims, the tip of the iceberg, in a fraud scheme that appeared to play off Tollefson's celebrity status, and reputation as the ultimate, "good guy."

Don Tollefson has spent most of his adult life talking into microphones for a large and adoring audience. But on this day, shackled and looking haggard, Tollefson had nothing to say to his former media colleagues now covering his arraignment.

A criminal complaint charges him with Dealing in the Proceeds of an Unlawful Activity, Theft and violations of the Pennsylvania Charitable Organizations statute.

In short, prosecutors claim he intentionally deceived those who bought packages to expensive out-of-town sporting events, through charities founded by Tollefson.

"He would state, for 'x' number of dollars- half of those dollars to be split between his charities and half to another charity, he will provide tickets to a sporting event, board and air travel, "Bucks Co. Deputy D.A Ryan Hyde said. "Mr. Tollefson would then not provide any of those benefits and certainly would not provide the half of the funds promised to the charitable organization."

Among those charitable events alleged scammed by Tollefson, an April-2013 5K Run in honor of slain Montgomery County Police Officer Brad Fox.

But prosecutors say there is a trail of victims strewn across our region each, feeling they'd been taken by a man they'd trusted.

"We had to pay for a lot of stuff out of pocket that was promised in this package, so we're suing him for what was out-of-pocket," Donna Stroup, alleged fraud victim said.

In court, Tollefson responded to the judge's question about drug or alcohol addiction by saying he was in a treatment program: "One hundred-31 days sober," said the former local TV icon.

His Michael McGovern admits mistakes were made by Tollefson and his charities, but says says Tollefson wants to make things right.

"I think he's had a difficult time this past year, but I really think he's on the mend, and i think he recognizes that he needs to put people in positions where they are whole again. There is no criminal intent here," McGovern said.

Tollefson is in custody at the Bucks County Correctional Facility as he tries to come up with $25,000 for bail.

Prosecutors believe there are many more alleged victims out there. If you believe you were scammed by Tollefson, police are asking you to call Detective John Banargo, Warminster Township Police, at (215)343-0100 or (215)672-1000.

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