The Attorney General’s office accuses a man of keeping money he collected in the name of a veterans charity, including that collected in lieu of gifts at the birthday party of a teenage girl.
William Harshbarger is alleged to have collected and kept at least $6,200 that donors thought was going to the Wounded Warrior Project. He faces seven felony counts in St. Charles County and four felony counts in St. Louis County including stealing, stealing by deceit, forgery, financial exploitation of the elderly and making misrepresentations in soliciting charity funds.
The charges were brought by Koster’s office as well as the St. Louis County and St. Charles County prosecuting attorneys.
Koster says the charity contacted his office after learning Harshbarger was collecting money in the name of the Project though he was not authorized to do so.
Allegations include that Harshbarger accepted an invitation to attend a girl’s 15th birthday party to receive donations for the Project in lieu of gifts to the girl, where he collected $1,080 and kept the money for himself.
He is also alleged to have kept nearly $750 from a 3-day fundraiser at an O’Fallon Christian school and to have altered a check written by a senior citizen for $30 to appear that she made it out for $300.
Wounded Warrior Project Communications Director Michelle Roberts says the organization sometimes learns of people using its name to collect money.
“It is important for people to know that we as a reputable nonprofit organization do not solicit cash donations door-to-door or outside of stores,” says Roberts.