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September 30, 2014

Pa. Sportscaster Pleads Guilty to $317,000 Charity Fraud

A longtime Philadelphia television personality admitted in court Monday to stealing $317,000 from some 200 victims who purchased phony travel packages ostensibly sold to benefit charities, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Reuters report. Don Tollefson was arrested in February after buyers of the sports-related excursions began coming forward with allegations that the flight and game tickets they purchased were not delivered.

Mr. Tollefson was a longtime fixture in local news, at one time drawing the highest salary among Philadelphia sportscasters, and gained additional renown for his charity work. Pleading guilty to felony theft charges Monday, he told Bucks County, Pa., Judge Rea B. Boylan that his crimes sprang from decades of addiction to painkillers and "multiple mental-health issues." Sentencing was deferred for 60 days.