TN man scammed charities with fake donations, says federal government
A 53-year-old man from Tennessee is accused of orchestrating an elaborate donation scheme to rob televangelists, pro-abortion media and dozens of nonprofits and charities.
Now he’s heading for the prison.
Jaime Walsh was sentenced to 6.5 years on Wednesday after pleading guilty to bank fraud in March, West Tennessee district prosecutors said in a press release. He was also ordered to pay $ 203,840 in restitution and $ 241,397 in damages.
Walsh could not be reached for comment, and a defense attorney appointed to represent him did not immediately respond to McClatchy News’ request for comment on Thursday.
From 2013 to 2019, Walsh was accused of targeting over 100 organizations and attempting to defraud them for more than $ 863,000. He eventually managed to steal $ 241,397, prosecutors said.
A grand jury indicted Walsh with wire fraud, mail fraud, false allegations against the government and bank fraud in June 2020.
According to the indictment, Walsh began targeting charities and nonprofit groups across the United States in the summer of 2013. Prosecutors said he submitted donations online and requested a refund shortly thereafter, claiming the donation was made in error.
“For example, the accused Walsh would donate $ 4,500 and then contact the organization, claiming he intended to donate only $ 45 and request a refund of $ 4,455,” said prosecutors in the indictment.
Once the organization paid the money back, the government said, Walsh immediately removed it from his account. His initial donation would never have been successful for lack of sufficient funds.
A look at transactions in 2018 and 2019 shows that Walsh “accidentally” donated between $ 4,500 and $ 7,500 to the pro-abortion media LifeNews.com, a Catholic church called the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels and the movement of the States Convention.
LifeNews.com is marked for “bias” and “clickbait” on the Columbia Journalism Review index of fake news, click bait and hate sites. The States Convention effort is a movement backed by conservatives limit federal powers by convening a constitutional convention, which the non-partisan watchdog group Common Cause said would pose an “unacceptable risk.”
Prosecutors said Walsh occasionally followed up with the organization he claimed to have submitted a donation to, saying he did not receive the first refund and requested another.
He sent one of those emails to Life Outreach International, a Christian outreach group based in Texas and run by televangelists James and Betty Robison. In the email, prosecutors said, Walsh wrote that he never received a refund and asked Life Outreach to process him again.
Court documents show Walsh also received a bogus reimbursement from Insight for Living, another Texas-based Bible ministry run by Evangelical Christian pastor Chuck Swindoll.
Walsh has often pressured organizations to issue his repayment quickly, saying he couldn’t pay the rent or make the payment on his car loan until the repayment was made, according to the deed. accusation.
He first appeared in court in July 2020. Court documents show Walsh was given $ 10,000 bail and could be returned to his brother’s care while in house arrest. Subsequent court documents indicated that Walsh was still in custody.
After pleading guilty to one count of eight counts in March, Walsh and the government asked for a 63-month jail term, or just over five years.
Walsh’s attorney has requested in court documents that Walsh serve his federal sentence along with any sentence he receives for pending charges in the state of Kentucky. He also claimed credit for his sentence after serving his sentence at the Shelby County Jail in Memphis, Tennessee, on state charges which were later dropped, and serving his sentence at a federal medical facility.
The judge partially granted his request on Wednesday, allowing him to serve federal and state sentences with credit for the time served.
The Prisons Office will decide where Walsh will serve his sentence, but the judge recommended that he be allowed some treatment, therapy and counseling during that time.