Tennessee man gets house arrest for stealing Sandy Hook donations to fund CrossFit business
A Kansas man was sentenced to home incarceration and probation for setting up a charity for the families of Sandy Hook victims and pocketing donations that he used to pay for his personal training business.
Robert Terry Bruce admitted to setting up the 26.4.26 Foundation to raise money to benefit relatives of 20 children and six employees of the Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school, reported the News Times.
The 35-year-old Bruce pleaded guilty in May to one count of wire fraud, and he was sentenced Friday to three months of home confinement and three more months on probation.
He was also ordered to repay the $28,657 he used to pay personal expenses and fund his CrossFit business.
Federal prosecutors said Bruce solicited and received donations just days after a gunman killed 26 people, including more than a dozen first-graders, in the Dec. 14, 2012, massacre.
He promoted charity events in New Hampshire and Tennessee that he promoted on social media and set up a PayPal account to “to help raise funds for increased school safety, families of victims, memorials to teacher heroes, awareness and prevention in schools across America.”
About 1,000 runners took part in a Nashville event that raised $30,000, and Bruce and other participants hand-delivered the check to Newtown, where he met with the family of slain teacher Victoria Soto.
Bruce promised donors that all proceeds would benefit the charity, but instead he took thousands of the $100,000 the foundation raised for himself and his fitness venture, investigators said.
Judge Alvin Thompson ordered Bruce to repay the full amount to the Sandy Hook Special Revenue Fund, which is administered by the Newtown Board of Selectmen.
Watch this video report posted online by KWRN-TV: