UPDATE: Don Tollefson has been arrested.
Sportscaster Don Tollefson has checked himself into an inpatient care facility following allegations that he has been defrauding folks of their cash in an apparent charity scam. He released the following statement via Action News last evening:
In recent months, the programs I have conducted for disadvantaged children have encountered financial challenges. As a result, we have needed to cancel trips and other prize packages and for that I greatly apologize to our generous donors who have taken such a great interest in these wonderful children. In the coming months, we hope to fulfill our obligations, resume our programs and make things right for our donors. I am currently receiving treatment at an inpatient facility. After I am discharged, I will fully address all of the above issues. I am truly sorry for any inconvenience and anxiety caused by these circumstances. Please respect my family’s privacy while I resolve these issues.
[Listen: Here’s Don Tollefson’s voicemail]
No official word on if drugs were to blame for Tollefson’s inpatient admission, but with Warminster police investigating dozens of fraud complaints against him, there are at least a few benefactors wondering what happened to their donations.
Tollefson reportedly was in a major car accident around 2 years ago, an incident that friend Bill Osborn says caused this whole situation in the first place. Whether that is through a drug addiction developed to cope with pain or physical infirmity as a result of the accident is not clear:
“I know if that hadn’t happened, this probably wouldn’t have happened,” Osborn said.
Though, there is that whole ticket thing:
“I became a little suspicious, and, actually, I became a little worried for him because it wasn’t the Tolley that I knew and loved. He was a good guy, and he just wasn’t acting like himself,” Osborn said.
The first sign something was wrong was when the expensive lower-level and sideline tickets Osborn purchased for charity turned out to be seats in the nosebleed section.
The charities Tollefson supposedly was donating money to include Wounded Warriors and a number of children’s charities, though the cash never made its way over. [ABC]