Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced today that Candice Jenkins has pled guilty to the crime of engaging in a charitable fraud-scheme, a class five felony, against The Gathering Place. The Gathering Place is a shelter located in Denver that provides services to women and their children experiencing issues with homelessness and poverty. Jenkins also pled guilty to theft of $500 or more which is a class two misdemeanor. She will be sentenced on September 28, 2012 in Denver District Court.
In June, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office announced a 10-count indictment against Jenkins for alleged violations of the Colorado Charitable Solicitations Act, Theft and Criminal Impersonation. Jenkins was accused of producing and distributing fictitious business cards and promotional flyers with the name and logo of The Gathering Place. Jenkins falsely represented to victims that she was on the board of directors of the Gathering Place or that she was the “fundraising co-chair.”
In addition to these misrepresentations, Jenkins represented to victim donors that she worked with the Tim Tebow Foundation, the Daniels Foundation and Pat Bowlen and his wife, Annabel Bowlen to raise money for The Gathering Place. Jenkins also sold dozens of copies of a DVD she produced, and claimed that all of the proceeds would benefit The Gathering Place. In January, 2011, Jenkins operated a booth at a fitness expo and enlisted the presence of former Colorado Avalanche player Stephane Yelle. At the expo, and at other times relevant to the indictment, Ms. Jenkins sold the DVD’s, as well as gourmet coffee and tea products and jewelry while claiming that all proceeds from the sales were intended for The Gathering Place. The Gathering Place was not aware of the activities of Jenkins, did not authorize her to use their name, and did not receive any donations from her.
Sentencing is open to the discretion of the Court and could range from probation to Jenkins serving up to six years in prison and a $100,000 fine.
The Office of the Attorney General worked in conjunction with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office to investigate the case and secure the indictment.