Man arrested for involvement in Autism awareness fundraiser scam

EAST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — East Haven Police have arrested a man who they say ripped off an autism charity. Paradise Alley Pro Wrestling will be holding another wrestling event this weekend to raise money for Autism Services and Resources Connecticut. The wrestling organization held an event in April called Wrestling for Autism, but they never got the money it raised.

Police arrested 35-year-old James Raymond on Friday. They say he organized the event in April and after collecting the money, presented a check that bounced.

It had to be between five and seven thousand dollars, but we didn’t know because he was handing everything,” said Steven Tracey, a wrestler with Paradise Alley Pro Wrestling.

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Police say they tried to contact Raymond but could not reach him, since he had disconnected his phone line. Raymond is now charged with issuing a bad check. He will appear in court on July 5.

“I’m glad that it happened,” said Tracey. “He deserved to get arrested for what he did.”

Now Paradise Alley Pro Wrestling is looking to make up that money. They have reached out to several business owners who have agreed to donate.

“We came together, said let’s right this wrong,” said Paul Roma, Paradise Alley Pro Wrestling head trainer and partner. “Let’s make sure we get these kids what they need, or even more than what they need.”

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They are having another event called Ring of Dreams on Sunday. They are expecting more than 20 wrestlers and hoping hundreds of people will show their support. They say all the money raised will go to Autism Services and Resources Connecticut.

“Everything’s going to benefit the children, and that’s all we really care about at the end of the day,” said Roma.

The Ring of Dreams event will be held at Veterans Memorial Hockey Rink in East Haven on Sunday at 3 p.m.

East Haven Police says they take these investigations very seriously because they do not want these types of crimes to discourage people from supporting good causes in the future. The police want the public to know that this is an isolated incident and in no way reflects the values of other charitable events that are held throughout the year to benefit worthy causes.