BARTOW — A Winter Haven man is facing criminal charges for allegedly scamming people into contributing money to offset utility bills for veterans, then pocketing the funds.
The State Attorney’s Office in Bartow has charged Christopher Edwards, 49, with four counts of grand theft and five counts of unlawfully soliciting funds. Edwards, of 2200 Ave. B S.W., faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
Prosecutors allege that Edward operated Power to Our Veterans, a business that sponsored raffles and other events to collect money for veterans, according to the arrest affidavit.
“Edwards was not registered as a charity, misrepresented himself as being affiliated with power companies, failed to award the prizes he offered up for raffle and failed to apply the contributions he received in a manner consistent with his solicitation,” according to the affidavit.