WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. - A 35-year-old woman from Yonkers has been arrested in connection to a fundraising scam involving a child who died of cancer.
Last month, the Yonkers Police Department issued an alert to local residents following reports of an alleged scam, where tickets were being sold throughout Westchester by a person selling “fundraising” tickets for a raffle related to Nolan Scully, a 4-year-old boy in Maryland who died from cancer following a fierce battle with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare soft-tissue cancer.
After being notified by the Aisling Irish Community Center that raffle tickets in Nolan’s name were being sold to patrons at local bars and restaurants for a fictitious fundraising event at the Westchester County Center, police in Yonkers launched a criminal investigation.
Officers from the 2nd Precinct and detectives from the Financial Crimes Unit conducted multiple interviews, identified witnesses and their investigation led to the arrest of Tracey Jacqueline Weir for “allegedly perpetrating the described fraud,” according to police.
Weir has been arrested and charged with a felony count of first-degree scheme to defraud.
“This defendant allegedly defrauded multiple people using the name of a deceased child,” Yonkers Police Commissioner Charles Gardner stated. “Not only were the victims affected, but the family of Nolan Scully more so; their unimaginable loss was exploited for selfish greed, compounding their pain and suffering. It is our hope that with this arrest, we can offer the Scully family some degree of closure to this upsetting incident.”
At the time the scam was uncovered last month, Nolan’s family took to social media to confirm that the raffle was fraudulent.
“It's with a disgusted feeling in my stomach that I even have to write this. Sometime within the last week, someone has been selling ‘fundraiser’ tickets in Nolan's honor for Childhood Cancer in New York State," the post reads. “THIS IS A SCAM!!! Nolan's family is not affiliated with any fundraisers being held in New York currently.
“This is also the complete opposite of what my soon stood for! My son was a generous and loving soul with a passion to be a public servant (policeman). I’m utterly disgusted that you would use my sweet boy to gain profits! This is a terrible display of greed and I’m deeply sorry for anyone this has affected.
“I’m just speechless.”
Weir was arraigned in Yonkers Criminal Court on Thursday. She is due back in court to answer the charges later this year.
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