Woman arrested for St. Jude’s fraud

Mandy Helton aBy Michael Williams

Last week the Tennessee Star Journal reported a story of a local woman that had scammed several private residences and several local businesses with a phony donation collection on behalf of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Earlier this week the suspect was arrested and charged with fraudulent collection of donations.

According to reports, Mandy Helton, also known as Mandy LeAnn Case, age 38, allegedly solicited donations from local business and local citizens by claiming she was collecting money for St. Jude’s. According to reports, detectives with the Pigeon Forge Police Department contacted St. Jude’s where a representative for the children’s charity denied any knowledge of the woman or her solicitations.

Acting on information gathered from the investigation, detectives arrested Helton Monday and charged her with theft and fraud. According to police reports, Helton had allegedly taken more than $3,000 in donations which she reportedly used for her own personal expenses.

Upon further investigation detectives determined Helton had allegedly perpetrated this scam in other places. According to reports, she had received donations from residents and businesses in Sevier County, five other Tennessee counties, 11 additional states and  Canada.

Anyone who has given a donation to Helton should contact their local law enforcement agency. The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information about Helton and her scam is asked to contact Detective Matthew Pendleton at (865) 453-9063.

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