for immediate release
October 24, 2002

N E W S   R E L E A S E

The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office is continuing an investigation into an apparent charity scam. In recent months, several reports have been received of an elementary school age boy seeking cash donations for a school fund raiser. Witnesses reported the boy would knock on doors, accompanied by an adult white female who remained behind in the driveway. Similar reports have been received from neighborhoods in Fort Walton Beach, Shalimar, and Destin.

Significant progress has been made in the investigation into these reports, and prosecution or restitution may be possible in the near future.

It is likely that many other fraudulent collections, perhaps involving small amounts of money, have not been reported to law enforcement. Any citizen who may have lost money to this scam, who has not been recently contacted in connection with this investigation, should call Investigator Ken LaPee at the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office, (850) 609-2000.

Sheriff Charlie Morris urges all citizens to be cautious in dealing with solicitors. Many reports of fraudulent or misleading fund-raising activities are received each year. School and public-safety related representations are often made or implied as part of such solicitations.

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for more information contact Rick Hord, Public Information Officer

(850) 651-7420

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