VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. (FOX 35 WOFL) – The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office says that an Ormond Beach man who claimed to be the founder and CEO of an organization raising money for military veterans was arrested Friday by Volusia County sheriff’s detectives who determined he scammed supporters out of their money.
Deputies say that their investigation into 46-year-old Christopher P. Black began last week after the sheriff’s office received a complaint from a local business that provided Blake signs and banners for a fundraiser, but never got paid for them.
The case is reportedly still under investigation, as other potential victims come forward.
A detective know something was amiss upon researching the organization, ‘Second Chance Veterans Foundation,’ says the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office. The detective found a promotion for a Memorial Day raffle of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle that was said to be donated by Bruce Rossmeyer’s Harley-Davidson and on display at Ace Cafe in Orlando. However, Rossmeyer denied ever donating a Hayley and Ace said no Harley was ever on display for Blake or his organization.
Deputies then say that the detectives went to Blake’s office address and learned that he hadn’t paid rent in about six months. The landlord was scheduled to meet with Blake at her office that morning. She let the detective sit in on the meeting, introducing him to Blake as her friend.
The detective said that he talked to Blake about his fundraising efforts and Blake showed him videos of events like a fundraiser at DeBary Golf and County Club. Blake also told the detective that he could buy a raffle ticket for the Harley.
The detective went to the DeBary Gold and Country Club as well, says the sheriffs office. He learned there that Blake’s $ 6,500 check for his October 28th fundraising event was returned for insufficient funds. The manager reported that Blake had about 40 people at the event, each of them paying Blake $ 100 to play golf and eat lunch.
The sheriff’s office said that the detective also visited a Holiday Inn at Orange City. The detective learned that the hotel gave Blake a $ 100 donation to sponsor his golf tournament. The manager said Blake also asked for four free hotel rooms. The hotel just gave him a discounted rate. However, Blake’s debit card used for payment was declined and his bill of $ 956,30 was never paid.
Deputies say that another victim was former NFL running back Gerald Riggs, who was a celebrity guest at the golf tournament. His $ 2,500 check from Blake was also returned for insufficient funds.
Blake was transported to the Volusia County Branch Jail on Friday and held on a $ 10,000 bail.
Anyone who has donated money to Second Chance Veterans Foundation or has been victimized by Blake’s schemes to defraud is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 386-254-1537.