Two felony charges have been filed against a 21-year-old Yuma woman who pretended to be selling doughnuts to raise money for a local school, but was allegedly pocketing the cash instead.
Allison Marie Demise is now facing two counts of fraudulent schemes and artifices and remains in custody at Yuma County jail.
Yuma County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Alfonso Zavala said Denise’s arrest last week came after an investigation into a fundraising scam involving the false sale of doughnuts.
On June 11, the sheriff’s office posted a warning on its Facebook page warning of the scam. The post included screenshot photos of the woman that were taken by a doorbell that records video.
Zavala said that the sheriff’s office had received several reports of a woman who was going door-to-door selling pre-orders of doughnuts on behalf of a sibling as part of a fundraiser for Ron Watson Middle School.
“She would tell the victims that they could either make a donation, or place an order and say she would return later with their doughnuts,” Zavala said. “She would keep the money instead.”
The woman, now known to be Denise, was described to be between 18 and 22 years old and weighing approximately 80 pounds. She even wore roller skates up to one of the homes. As part of the investigation, Ron Watson was contacted and the school confirmed that it was not selling doughnuts at the time or the scam, nor was it conducting any type of fundraising.
There are currently more than 15 victims, and Zavala says that it is possible there could be many others. Anyone who believes they may have been a victim to the scam is urged to call law enforcement.
Zavala urged the community to be especially careful and wary of anyone claiming to be conducting a fundraiser in this manner.