Jim Benvie, a spokesman for the so-called “border vigilante” organization the United Constitutional Patriots, has been accused of running a scam charity that was purportedly raising money for a cancer-stricken child.
The Daily Beast reports that newly unearthed court documents show that Benvie was arrested for “fraudulently claiming to be collecting cash for a child with cancer” while also being in possession of a stolen truck.
Although Benvie was eventually charged with stealing the truck, prosecutors did not press charges against him for the allegedly fraudulent charity work.
According to police reports, officers were dispatched last July to a local fried chicken chain restaurant after receiving reports of a stolen vehicle parked there. Inside the restaurant, they found Benvie asking restaurant goers for money while holding a “blue bucket with cash in it.”
“When Benvie observed me he began to look away and became very nervous,” a police lieutenant said in a sworn affidavit. “I contacted him and asked how long he had been at the store attempting to raise money. He stated a couple hours.”
The lieutenant also said in the affidavit that “it’s believed that Benvie was committing fraud by collecting donations for [a] child with cancer that he was unable to provide any information about.”