A Bradenton woman is in jail, accused of pocketing cash donations she claimed were going to a local disabled veteran.
The Bradenton Police Department began its investigation in May 2016 after receiving tips about Maureen Maloney, 54, using the name of a live-in disabled veteran to collect donations for his medical care.
During the eight month investigation, detectives located the disabled veteran and confirmed he was not living with the suspect, nor was he in need of money for medical care.
Investigators arrested Maloney at her house Thursday.
“That’s about as low as you can possibly get when you’re trying to steal from people to give money to veterans and you’re not giving it to them,” said Ernie Adams, a U.S. Navy veteran.
Veterans at Bradenton’s VFW expressed disgust after learning about the alleged scheme.
“That is just basically one of the people that’s kind of the scum of the Earth,” said Adams.
Detectives located 12 potential victims who gave Maloney cash donations. Bradenton Police have not released the total amount of donations Maloney received.
Adams now fears the alleged scam will hurt legitimate organizations trying to help veterans.
“If a reputable veterans organization was to contact them, they are going to say ‘ain’t no way, I’ve been down this road,’” said Adams.
Detectives believe there are more victims out there, anyone with information can call Detective Nazario Camacho at (941) 932-9312.