March 26, 2015

Ex-Pa. Sportscaster Gets Prison in $340,000 Charity Scam

Former Philadelphia sportscaster Don Tollefson was sentenced Wednesday to two to four years in state prison for stealing more than $340,000 from fans who believed they were buying sports travel packages from him to benefit local charities, Reuters and The Philadelphia Inquirer write. The 62-year-old local television veteran was also given 15 years' probation and ordered to pay about $164,500 in restitution.

Mr. Tollefson was convicted in January of money laundering, theft, and other charges after a trial in which he represented himself and claimed that his failure to provide the promised flight and game tickets to some 200 contributors arose from business incompetence, not fraudulent intent. He was arrested in February 2014 and initially pleaded guilty but withdrew his plea in December, rejecting a proffered seven-month sentence and electing to stand trial.