Money mystery surrounding charity event

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - Thousands of dollars, raised by Western New Yorkers months ago, was nowhere to be found, until now.

The 7 Eyewitness News I-Team has learned that more than $3,000 dollars has been successfully transferred into the account for WNY Heroes, a group dedicated to helping heroes of war, after it was supposed to be donated months ago.

Back in December, members of the Jeep Club of WNY were ‘freezin for a reason,’ by camping in a parking lot in Clarence to raise money, food and toys for the WNY Heroes veterans group.

Members of the Jeep Club tell 7 Eyewitness News that they inquired about the donation, in the amount of $5,400 dollars, which was supposed to go to WNY Heroes.

“WNY Heroes was contacted recently to ask why the club never received any type of confirmation of the donation,” said Anthony Kuhn, attorney representing WNY Heroes. “Upon being notified of this intended donation, Chris, the president of WNY Heroes, initiated an audit to track down the funds intended to go to WNY Heroes. After a search, it was determined the funds were never received by WNY Heroes.”

According to members of the Jeep Club, when they asked member Scott Hemperly about the money, he said he dropped it off to the organization in December, but could not find the receipt or proof of the donation.

WNY Heroes said it never received the money and would have acknowledged the donation on social media if it had.

Last week, members of the Jeep Club filed a police report with the Town of Tonawanda Police and the Erie County Sheriff’s Office for the missing funds.

“It was determined that no funds were received. The initial claim was that the donation was broken down into two amounts,” said Kuhn. “Reportedly these are the actions of one individual and we hope there’s no damage to either organization’s reputation.”

7 Eyewitness News spoke to Hemperly on Tuesday and he said he dropped off $2,100 in December, but can’t find the receipt. He says he sent $2,100 to WNY Heroes today via Paypal.

On Tuesday evening, 7 Eyewitness News was told that $3,400 dollars has successfully been transferred into an account for WNY Heroes, which still leaves more missing.

President of the non-profit, Chris Krieger, says this whole ordeal is having him change the way fundraisers will be conducted moving forward.

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