Police: Phony Ho Ho Shop worker scammed neighbors

(Wilmington Police Department)
(Wilmington Police Department)

WILMINGTON, OH (FOX19) - A Clinton County woman is accused of pretending to raise money for charity and keeping the donations for herself.

Jessi Fannin, 36, of Wilmington, is charged with theft.

According to a police report, Fannin went door-to-door Sunday and Monday in Wilmington.

She allegedly told people that she was collecting donations for the Clinton County Ho Ho Shop.

The shop is "a non-profit organization that helps brings Christmas to local youngsters who may not have presents," stated the police report.

The organization does not go door to door soliciting donations.

Someone captured the suspect on surveillance camera and posted it to social media.

"The kids ran to the door first and we were headed out to go to the Coney Island lights," said Holly Roush, who had surveillance video of the incident.

Roush said Fannin changed her name to Jen.

"It's sad that there may be children, who if people gave there money that they were planning to support, that that they were taken advantage of," she said.

Amanda Rudduck was one of the victims who fell for the scam.

"She was wearing a coat and a hat... and it was so cold that day she looked like a dedicated worker," she said.

Rudduck said she only gave $10, but Fannin had phoney receipts in her envelope.

Police said they were then able to identify Fannin.

She was taken into custody.

Investigators said Fannin admitted to soliciting money, claimed she used the money for food and denied using drugs.

Police said Fannin had a receipt book on her when she was arrested. She said she made up the names and donations written in the book, "trying to make her look legit."

She's also accused of scamming money from at least one person in October.

Police believe there could be more victims and are asking people to call (937) 382-3833.

Fannin was taken to the Clinton County Jail.

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