Four Get Jail for Charity Scam Targeting Veterans

| May 31, 2019

A story put out by WDRB.com says that four people convicted of charity fraud targeting veterans are sentenced to four years in jail.

All four members of a southern Indiana group who ripped off big money posing as a fake veterans charity are heading to federal prison.

James Linville, Thomas Johnson, Joanie Watson and Amy Bennett confessed in federal court this week to the elaborate scam that duped people into thinking they were donating to help veterans and their families. Their punishments range from three to five years behind bars.

Later…

The group exploited the death of Spears’ 21-year-old son, Cpl. Jordan Spears, of Memphis, Indiana. He died in 2014 serving as a U.S. Marine in the Persian Gulf.

“(Jordan) wanted to be a Marine from the time he was 8 years old, and he ended up dying doing what he loved to do,” Greg Spears said of his son.

The suspects used their fake “Wounded Warrior Fund” and “Wounded Warrior Foundation” to collect donations they claimed would help play for Spears’ funeral.

“We were just sickened by the way they took advantage of the whole community using our son’s name,” Greg Spears said. “It just devastated our whole family.”

Federal prosecutors said over six years, the group scammed about 1,000 donors out of more than $125,000 in cash, gift cards, merchandise and in-kind donations.

Category: Legal, Shitbags, Veterans Issues

Comments (27)

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  1. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    May every moment of their incarcerations be complete and total misery and may they die alone, cold, hungry and forgotten unless they repent.

    • 5th/77th FA says:

      Or burn in hell as Satan devours their worthless souls. God may forgive those that sin and ask for forgiveness, but I won’t.

      That quartet will be singing a different tune at the gray bar hotel.

  2. Hondo says:

    Couldn’t happen to a more deserving group of ambulatory verbal anuses.

    • HMCS(FMF) ret says:

      They will find out real soon that there are bad people in prison… really bad people.

  3. JURRASICHM says:

    Hopefully some of their prison guards will be Vets and will give them the “special” attention they deserve.

  4. Eden says:

    Watson is “heartfully sorry” (whatever does that mean?), but she’s still married to one of the masterminds who pretended to be a veteran? Yeah, she’s sorry, alright!

  5. Ex-PH2 says:

    Maybe they’d feel some remorse if they had to stand at attention for six hours in the middle of a bad January snowstorm at USNAV Great Lakes… or not.

    They appear to be the type that feels no remorse about anything at all.

  6. I used to see these peeps (not the above)wearing Cammies and holding pails on the street dividers/meridians asking for donations. Turns out the ones asking for $$$ get a salary and the boss gets the rest and God only knows what he forks over to the needy Vets.

    Trivia;
    God Only Knows was waxed by the Capris on the Gotham record label (1954) Boss ballad.

    • 26Limabeans says:

      “God only Knows” was pressed by Capital on the Beach Boys Greatest hits album.
      Same song?

      • 26lima;
        Beach Boys God only Knows was a different song than lead singer Renee Hinton sang on the Philly Gotham label in 1954. Check it out on youtube. You may like or dislike that kind of music. I grew up in NYC and always liked the Black/White sound. I even met the Lady years ago at a UGHA Collectors show in North Bergen NJ at Shutzen Park.

  7. 26Limabeans says:

    “Watson flipped and gave prosecutors information about her husband, Thomas Johnson, to get a better deal”

    “The couple is still married”

    I’ll bet Joannie is really a Johnny.
    Look at that photo and tell me I’m wrong.

  8. Terry BROCK says:

    Friday Feel Good Story!

  9. Mason says:

    $125,000 over 6 years split 4 ways is $5,200/yr. Totally worth it, right? The amount of effort people will go through to not make an honest buck never ceases to amaze me.

  10. gitarcarver says:

    Not only prison, but pay the money back.

    The judge also ordered they must pay back the donations, totaling more than $134,000.

    At least the money that people gave will eventually get to where it was intended to go and to the people was intended to help.

    • Hondo says:

      Call me cynical, but it’s my understanding judges order “restitution” all the time, and often the amount is never completely repaid – with or without interest.

      As noted by Mason above: the scheme netted each of these “fine geniuses” around $5200 a year. I’m guessing that money is long gone and they have precious little in the way of assets. I’d also guess their future employment prospects aren’t so good, either.

      I swear, for economic fraud I sometimes wish the sentence was open ended incarceration with mandatory work, 6 days a week, at a job paying minimum wage until the entire amount obtained through fraud has been recovered with appropriate interest – plus 30 days. The only downside is that some fraudsters would never leave prison, so the taxpayer would have to feed/clothe/provide medical care for them for the rest of their lives.

      • gitarcarver says:

        Hondo,

        I would rather the order for restitution be in place even it means a portion of the money is paid back rather than no pay back at all.

        It is “easy” to take money from someone. The money or property you take has no intrinsic value to you.

        It’s different when you have to work for it. It is different when you worked even a minimum wage job and see part of the money get whisked away to repay the people you stole it from.

        Years (and I mean YEARS) ago, there was a study that indicated that recidivism was much lower in cases where people had to make restitution than when they didn’t.

        I am always for restitution in an attempt to make the victims whole. It may not always work out, but I would rather it be tried than just waving at the crooks as they walk out of jail.

        • Hondo says:

          We’re discussing different sides of the same coin, and are largely in agreement.

          I agree that restitution SHOULD be made – in full. But the legal system doesn’t generally support that. In fact, there are barriers that make that all but un-doable unless the perp is either wealthy or the sum involved is small.

          Case in point: garnishments to pay debts to the US on things like defaulted student loans, falsely obtained VA bennies, etc . . . . Yes, restitution is usually ordered. But there are so may exclusions and restrictions on what the government can take even from government payments like Social Security to repay debts to Uncle Sam that if the restitution is sizeable, it may take literally decades. It’s even worse for private concerns, since some government payments are fully protected against garnishment (VA disability is one such, as I recall).

          My proposal above – which I know won’t ever be implemented – would go a long way towards making full restitution for at least smaller sums like this one. But it would require indeterminate sentences – and changes in law to allow same, plus close many of the existing loopholes regarding government payments and garnishment. Plus judges willing to actually hold perps fully accountable.

          I just don’t see any of that happening.

  11. Wilted Willy says:

    I hope they enjoy their time at Bubba’s deli with the rest of the gang? I hope they enjoy all of the man meat sandwiches with Man Butter!
    Eat Shit And Die you bunch of Cocksuckers!!!

  12. Commissar says:

    Create a scam veteran charity go to jail.

    System working as intended.

    Scam veteran charities…become the president of the United States.

    System failed.

    Some of you will likely get all pissy about the fact that I won’t let off on my “Orange man bad” messaging. Stop to consider that you are more angry that a veteran does not think a con artist is fit to be president than you are about the FACT that the con artist you support defrauded veteran charities.

    • Usafvet509 says:

      Fuck you, commie. To death, with a frozen pineapple, fronds first. You dare to refer to yourself as a veteran, when you’ve pissed all over the Oath? Fuck yourself, pansy. Bet you probably could, too…

  13. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    “Scam veteran charities…become the president of the United States.”
    Sources please, until then I say that you’re once again 100% full of shit, zampolit!

    • Hondo says:

      Just consider the source, API.

      After all: he believes he’s infallible and omniscient; he’s let us know that through the content and tone of his past comments. And he doesn’t have time to provide documentation for the stuff he pulls out of his butt or repeats from DU his assertions to those he considers beneath him.