A man from Kenai, Alaska, who founded a charity that would help deployed troops, has been charged with keeping much of the money he gathered for himself.
Frank Roach, 52, founder of the charity Alaska Veterans Outreach Boxes for Heroes, has been charged with nine counts, including fraud and theft, according to the Alaska Office of Special Prosecutions.
The charity was founded in April 2010 in Kenai. In a report on the Peninsula Clarion, Roach had claimed that the charity would use donations to send care packages to deployed troops.
In 2009, Roach shared that he was inspired to start the charity after sending bathroom supplies and other goods to his nephew, an Army sergeant deployed to Iraq in 2006. His nephew, he shared, thanked him for the items, and said that other deployed troops would appreciate receiving similar items.
Roach’s fundraising activities include soliciting donations in front of a warehouse store in Kenai, where he would ask customers to donate. According to prosecutors, the charity received donations at retails stores from Wasilla to Homer, as well as from telephone solicitations.
In October, a charity employee filed a complaint with Kenai police, and said that Roach, and others in the organization, were spending the money on things other than shipping expenses.
An investigation conducted by Jeff Whannell of the Kenai Police Department and colleagues revealed that the charity raised more than $140,000 in donations from April 2010 to October 2011. Roach, however, was said to be using the money as his sole source of income, and used the donations to pay for living expenses.