Man accused of running a fake golf charity scam in Scottsdale
SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — A man is facing charges for running a golf charity scam, Scottsdale police announced on Sunday. Investigators said 57-year-old Robert Francis Alexander was collecting money from May through July on behalf of the Wounded Warrior Project for a charity golf tournament at Silverleaf Country Club. But the tournament didn’t exist and the Wounded Warrior Project, a legitimate nonprofit for veterans and active duty service members, didn’t know Alexander. “Those reports started to come in from about May and June of this last summer of 2022. Usually our patrol officers will field those initial calls, but we have a financial crimes detective unit and so that was where things really started to come together,” said Officer Aaron Bolin with the Scottsdale Police Department. “It was really about I think appealing to people’s emotions, and appealing to their wanting to do more for veterans. Especially wounded veterans who have served our country so honorably,” said Officer Bolin.
Police say this wasn’t the only scheme Alexander had going. He was also apparently collecting money to buy golf balls at a lower price and then sell them to make a profit. “The money was going to Mr. Alexander. No golf balls were being purchased and there really was no plan to then sell those golf balls in any shape or form. And so he really was conning people into giving him money for that investment scheme,” Bolin said.
Another victim claims he paid Alexander $5,000 to buy school coupon books. In return, Alexander told him he’d receive a tax write-off at the end of the year. At least four victims are included in court documents, but Scottsdale police believe there could be more. “It’s estimated the loss right now, financially, is around $14,500. We’re expecting that to potentially climb if we get more victims to come forward.” Scottsdale Police’s Financial Crimes Unit looked more into Alexander and said he was part of multiple fraud schemes. He was arrested on Aug. 8.
Silverleaf Club did not want to comment on the investigation, but a spokesperson for the Wounded Warrior Project says these kinds of cases undermine the trust of its supporters. The Arizona Corporation Commission ordered Alexander to pay $382,000 in restitution last year, according to court documents. Alexander told investigators he hasn’t paid in a while. If anyone recognizes Alexander and may be a scam victim, call Scottsdale police at 480-312-5000.
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