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Stop & Shop allows fake veteran to solicit donations December 26, 2008

Posted by jefhenningeresq in News.
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I knew that I would find someone arrested around Christmas for allegedly using the holidays for illegal personal gain.  Sure enough, I found one that was very interesting both in the way it was set up and the way it was discovered.

Police in Woburn, MA allege that Paul Guilmain pretended to be a military veteran and representative for the very real organization, National Veterans Foundation.  He spent about a month in front of the local Stop & Shop soliticing donations from shoppers. 

The odd thing is that Stop & Shop claims that they have a thorough vetting process for charities seeking to solicit and that Guilmain was vetted.  What exactly Guilmain said and/or provided to Stop & Shop to convince them that he was legit is unknown.  My guess is that the store manager just dropped the ball here.

He was caught by a 23 year old former Army soldier Nick Ford, who thought that his uniform was outdated.  Attention to detail huh?  Ford said that this isn’t the first time that he turned someone in for this type of scam.  

I don’t see this case going very far.  There is no proof that anyone gave him money, even though there was $150 in his cup.  There is also no proof that he was going to keep this money as he could have donated it to the charity.  Even assuming the State had a case, $150 of theft in just about any state rarely carries any serious time.

The story is here.

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