Police warn of repeat charity scam

TAMPA - Police are asking local businesses that were recently conned out of donation money for two police charities to come forward.

Detectives believe Todd Norwood collected donations from businesses under the guise of working for the National Police and Troopers Association and the Louisiana Narcotics Officers Association.

A Tampa check cashing company alerted police about the scheme after Norwood cashed a number of checks at their business. An internal audit by that business showed he had nothing to do with either of the legitimate charities.

The majority of the donation checks came from businesses in Louisiana and Tampa.

"Anywhere from ten to as much as twelve-hundred dollars from different businesses," said Janelle McGregor with Tampa Police.

Police say it's the same scam Norwood admitted to running last year. In 2010, officers arrested him and his girlfriend for using a fund for disabled police officers to collect donations from hundreds of Tampa businesses, including a Sweet Tomatoes restaurant.

The couple was getting ready to leave for Louisiana when officers found and arrested them both. They were both charged with organized fraud, petit theft and unlawful use of a badge. At the time, they were awaiting trial in Orlando for running the same scam there.

Detectives believe Norwood is still targeting local businesses in Tampa. They're now asking businesses that feel they were a victim of Norwood's scam to call the Tampa Police Department at 813-231-6130.

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