What to Know
- NJ man accused of donation scam in which he impersonated a cop, firefighter and others to collect funds he kept for himself, prosecutors say
- Anthony Moats, 55, of Metuchen, was charged Wednesday, with impersonation, theft by deception, and impersonation of law enforcement officer
- According to the prosecutor’s office, Moats used the money collected in the scam for his own benefit, including paying for rent and bills
A New Jersey man is accused of a donation scam in which he impersonated a police officer, firefighter and others in order to collect funds that he ultimately kept for himself, prosecutors say.
Anthony Moats, 55, of Metuchen, was arrested and charged Wednesday, with impersonation, theft by deception, and impersonation of a law enforcement officer for soliciting donations from local businesses on behalf of various nonprofits and government agencies including police, veteran and firefighter foundations, as well as other organizations, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and South Plainfield Police Chief James Parker announced in a joint statement.
According to the prosecutor’s office, Moats used the money collected in the scam for his own benefit, including paying for rent and bills.
He was arrested when he was allegedly picking up a donation.
During an investigation it was determined that between May 2017, and February 2019, Moats posed as a representative of various agencies and solicited funds, in the amount of approximately $63,000, from victims in the towns of, Carteret, East Brunswick, Edison, Iselin, New Brunswick, Perth Amboy, Piscataway, and South Brunswick, prosecutors say.
“Unfortunately, the crime of donation fraud is quite widespread and prevalent throughout our community. The criminals involved in these schemes selfishly exploit the benevolence and generosity of others who seek to do good. We urge everyone to be wary of unexpected solicitations.” Carey said, adding that anyone who receives a solicitation to donate on behalf of a law enforcement base organization should call the local police department before donating to verify the solicitation is legitimate.
It was not immediately clear if Moats has retained an attorney who could comment on his behalf.
The investigation is ongoing.