Gloversville police say a charitable organization reportedly set up to help abused women may have collected funds fraudulently.
Capt. Donald VanDeusen said that as the result of an investigation that began in July but picked up steam last week, detectives obtained and executed a search warrant Friday afternoon for a residence at 122 East Blvd., where they seized several pieces of evidence that indicated Lifeline Associates & Friends is a fraudulent organization.
The group advertised itself as a safe haven for rape, domestic violence and abuse victims. It boasted legal services and advice and asked for donations to open a halfway house for abused women, VanDeusen said.
The donations Lifeline sought may have been for a fundraising walk in Myer’s Park or for a raffle, VanDeusen said. Neither ever took place, he said.
VanDeusen declined to provide the names of the organization’s founders, but in an Aug. 7 interview with television station WNYT, Roseline Hartz and Lawrence Snyder talked about the organization and introduced themselves as its co-founders.
Snyder, who said he is 17-year-old Hartz’s uncle, said in the interview that Hartz started the organization about a year ago to work toward raising funds to open a halfway house for abuse survivors. Snyder said in the interview that while in France, Hartz’s mother was abused, and that inspired her daughter to want to help other people in the same situation.
According to its flier, Lifeline asked that interested persons mail a form and entry fee to P.O. Box 1017 in Gloversville for a “Walk for Women” in Myer’s Park from noon to 6 p.m. on Sept. 17. No one answered Wednesday at two different numbers provided on the flier.
Police are continuing their investigation, but have not yet filed any charges or made any arrests. Police said they don’t have an estimate of the total amount of funds collected through the foundation or how many people may have donated.
Anyone who donated to Lifeline Associates & Friends is asked to call detectives at 773-4569.
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Categories: Schenectady County