The Attorney General's Office of New Jersey is going after a pair of scammers who were busying themselves by going around Lower Manhattan in a pickup truck decked out in 9/11 themes and the names of hundreds of responders who were killed in the terror attacks.
They put themselves out there as a charity, but now one of the two men being investigated claims that they were never a charity; they were simply seeking donations for the costs for parading around in their 9/11 themed truck. That's such a transparent and flimsy excuse that it wont keep them from getting hit with fraud and other charges.
A judge ordered Mark Niemczyk and Thomas Scalgione’s red truck, which bears the names of those killed in the Sept. 11 attacks, be impounded.Their problems are only beginning. They weren't registered as a charity and they don't appear to have any paperwork backing up any of their claims that they were acting within the law. What we're also seeing is that one of the two scammers is more than willing to try and throw the other under the bus.
The judge also ordered that the men’s assets be frozen after the state alleged the two failed to register as a charity, collected money and kept it for themselves.
But speaking exclusively to CBS 2 on Friday, Niemczyk said he’s innocent.
“Please believe me that I didn’t do anything wrong, from the bottom of my heart,” Niemczyk told CBS 2′s Christine Sloan.
The two men are accused of using donations for their personal gain.
“We weren’t a charity, that was never a charity. I never said we were a charity,” Niemczyk said.
Niemczyk said the two drove the red truck around to 9/11 events and collected money only for the operation of the vehicle. He claimed Scalgione was in charge of the money.
“We had a jug on the table and it said on the jug ‘please help keep the 9/11 truck on the road — all donations are greatly appreciated,’” Niemczyk said. “People put money in the jug and that went for our gas and tolls and stuff like that.”
Labels: 9/11, charities, law enforcement, New Jersey, scams, World Trade Center