Civil lawsuit filed over phony charity collection boxes

Friday, January 27th 2006, 8:30 am
By: News On 6

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) -- The Missouri attorney general is suing two men suspected of taking part in a scheme to place fake Special Olympics donation boxes at retails stores in Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas.

The lawsuit asks that William Bowman of Joplin, Missouri, and Darrell Winters of Royse City, Texas, pay $1,000 per violation plus the costs of investigating and prosecuting the case and court costs.

The two were arrested with Winters' brother, Robert, last month in Missouri and police found a list of 61 businesses in northeast Oklahoma where they had placed the fake collection boxes. The list had 49 businesses in Tulsa, eleven in Broken Arrow and in Sand Springs. Authorities say up to 200 fake donation boxes were placed in Oklahoma, Missouri and southeast Kansas.

Only Robert Winters faces criminal charges which are two felony counts of unlawful merchandising.