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Fundraising Event Turns Criminal After Money Disappears

On Behalf of | Jul 15, 2021 | Criminal Defense

When Pamela Fergus, a college ethics professor in Minnesota, started a campaign to erase public school lunch debt, people were anxious to help. Calling the fundraiser “Philando Feeds the Children” in honor of a school cafeteria worker who was shot and killed by police during a traffic stop, Fergus managed to gain attention both locally and nationally. Donations rolled in and the fundraiser soon gained over $200,000. Unfortunately, there was a sinister side to the story.

The true behind the fundraiser

While it’s impossible to know the true motives behind Pamela Fergus’ charity, she is now in the spotlight again — but not in a positive way. Court documents now show that Fergus only donated approximately $80,000 of the money to the school system. Where did the rest of the money go? That’s what courts are wanting to know. All the money raised for the schools went directly into Fergus’ personal bank account, and she is resisting anyone looking into her finances. This leaves roughly $120,000 completely unaccounted for.

What happens next?

As of now, Fergus remains a teacher at Inver Hills Community College where she teaches a psychology class called “Introduction to Diversity and Ethics in Psychology.” However, she is facing a serious court battle. Valerie Castile, whose deceased son’s name was used for the fundraising project, has since distanced herself from Fergus. She claims that there were times when she tried to ask where all the money was going, only to have Fergus remain aloof and even somewhat rude.

What to do if you’re accused

While the courts have yet to determine what will happen with Pamela Fergus, this isn’t the only case where someone has been charged with a crime after running a charity. If you find yourself in a similar situation as Fergus, then it’s important that you get legal help immediately. A criminal law attorney can help you understand your rights and show you how to prove your innocence.

Fundraising and charities are fantastic things; however, they can turn bad when money is misappropriated or not properly documented. Thankfully, an attorney in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, might be able to help prove your innocence or get you the lowest penalty for your crime.