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    Andrew James Fortner, 34, of Jefferson City, Missouri, was sentenced last week to four (4) years each on two counts of Forgery.  On Friday, March 20, 2015, Senior Judge D. Gregory Warren, denied Andrew Fortner’s request for probation and instead sentenced him to prison for fraudulently soliciting donations to the “Wounded Warrior Project” using fake literature and trademarked logos.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutors John Garrabrant and Nicholas Chlysta.

    In 2013, Fortner was twice captured on surveillance footage at the St. James Country Mart actively soliciting and receiving donations for the Wounded Warrior Project.  Representatives from Wounded Warriors confirmed that the charity does not utilize store front fundraising, nor have any donations ever been received by or from Fortner. The Wounded Warrior Project hopes that cases like this raise awareness of these types of scams. At the time of the incidents, Fortner was in the United States Army Reserves serving as a Sergeant. Subsequently, Fortner was discharged for Unsatisfied Participation, with a discharge status showing his demotion from a Sergeant to a Private Class E-1. A spokesperson for the United States Recruitment Office in Rolla, Missouri, commented, “Fortner is a perpetual, habitual liar and has done a disservice.”

    Phelps County Prosecutor Brendon Fox said, “I am satisfied with the result.  Mr. Fortner took advantage of the generosity and kindness of the local community.  I hope his actions do not discourage people from contributing to the Wounded Warriors in the future.  This case hopefully will make people more aware of the importance of making sure their contributions are made through legitimate channels.  I am proud of Andy Davis, a Retired Army Sergeant and Retired Detective with the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department.  I know he took a special interest in this case and bringing Fortner to justice”

    Fox would remind you that if you see suspicious activities like Fortner’s, to contact law enforcement.  Together we can make a difference and stop charity fraud.

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