PCSO: phony donation documents used to con local businesses

Suspects pretended to raise money for veterans
Posted at 11:34 PM, May 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-01 23:34:18-04

Pasco detectives busted an alleged charity scam that pretended to be raising money on behalf of Florida veterans and police. 

From the initial sales pitch to the phony paperwork, investigators say Jason Parzy and Billy Fielder left nothing to chance. 

"He had a great story," said Trevor Campbell, owner of Cash for Gold in Wesley Chapel.  "It was very convincing."

According to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, the duo were part of a scheme that doctored donation forms from a certified, Indiana-based charity, Veterans Relief Fund.  

The problem is, that charity hasn't been active in the state of Florida for more than two years. 

"He had an original receipt, an actual color copy of a receipt from the business and then he took strips of paper and glued them, covering the actual information of whoever had been the donor," said Det. Darren Hill. 

Hill says the scam netted more than $1,500 from nearly 20 Tampa Bay area businesses. 

"There's a lot of organizations and groups that are just trying to make a difference out there and this screws it up for everybody," said Campbell. 

Campbell says Fielder contacted his business twice in two months, using the same alias seeking donations for the Florida Veterans Relief Fund and the Fraternal Order of Police.  

"It was just a matter of time," said Campbell.  "The clock was ticking for these guys, they were going to get caught one way or another."

Campbell contacted PCSO after the second solicitation call.  Det. Hill set up an impromptu sting operation at Cash for Gold. 

ABC Action News obtained surveillance video that shows a Pasco detective behind the pawn shop's counter holding an envelope Parzy thinks is filled with cash. 

Det. Hill appears and makes the arrest before Parzy collects the $300 cash donation. 

Pasco detectives tell ABC Action News, they believe more victims are out there and urge anyone who has been contacted by either Parzy or Fielder to call the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. 

If you have any doubts about a charity pitch, detectives suggest first verifying the charity's name and license/registration number with the state of Florida's database