The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 46-year-old Ormond Beach man over the holidays following a one-week investigation revealing he had been scamming individuals who supported a fraudulent veterans organization he invented.
VCSO reported that Christopher Blake, whom identified himself as the founder and CEO of “Second Chance Veterans Foundation” during the investigation, was arrested on Friday, Dec. 29 for after a reported complaint from a Deltona business owner who said Blake failed to pay for some signs and banners he had picked up for a fundraiser. The bill, totaling $ 543.15, went unpaid for weeks as the owner tried to make contact with Blake, eventually pushing the owner to call law enforcement.
The call triggered an investigation by VCSO who found that Blake also had outstanding debts with various people and businesses for the fundraiser, a golf tournament held at the Debary Golf and Country Club in September, 2017. VCSO reported that 40 people attended Blake’s event, each paying him $ 100 for lunch and golf. The event cost $ 6,500 to put on, a sum which Blake failed to pay the country club; Blake returned a week after the event and gave the country club a fraudulent check for the bill.
A direct victim from the fraudulent fundraiser is former NFL running back Gerald Riggs, who was a “celebrity guest” at the golf tournament. Blake’s $ 2,500 compensation check for his appearance was returned for insufficient funds. Blake also owes a Holiday Inn in Orange City a sum of $ 956.30 for hotel rooms for some golf tournament guests. The hotel also gave Blake a $ 100 donation.
As the VCSO detective investigating the case found a website for Blake’s organization, he saw that Blake had a promotion for a Memorial Day raffle of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle that he claimed to be donated by Bruce Rossmeyer’s Harley-Davidson and that was on display at Ace Café in Orlando. VCSO found both of these claims to be false.
The detective also visited Blake’s office space listed on his website, and discovered he owed six months worth of rent to the landlord, who after speaking with the detective, advised him Blake would be coming over that same day to discuss some “good news.” The landlord allowed the detective to sit in during their meeting, where she introduced the detective to Blake as a friend of hers. At that meeting, Blake told the detective, who was not wearing any law enforcement identification, about his foundation and showed him videos of past events and told him about the raffle for the motorcycle on his website.
Blake is currently out of jail on a $ 10,000 bond. His arraignment is scheduled for Jan. 25.