Suspect Charged in Solicitation Scheme
August 17, 2007
The Bradley County Sheriff's Office has arrested a Cleveland, Tennessee man for soliciting businesses on behalf of law enforcement and firefighter associations with which he had no affiliation.
David L. Forni, 45, is charged with accepting money from two businesses in Bradley County that he solicited on behalf of the Tennessee Sheriff's Association, the International Association of Retired Firefighters, and the Police and Sheriff's Association. The investigation started when the sheriff's office started receiving calls from businesses that had been contacted by phone about donating to the Tennessee Sheriff's Association.
Sheriff Tim Gobble said, "The sheriff's association is a legitimate organization that works to improve law enforcement in Tennessee. They do not solicit by phone but do raise money through an annual mailing to homes in February." Forni is charged with two counts of unauthorized solicitation for police/judicial associations, a class E felony, and two counts of criminal impersonation, a class B misdemeanor.
Businesses who contributed believed their name would appear in a law enforcement or fire fighter publication. They were given a receipt for either the International Fire Service Yearbook or the Police and Sheriff's Association. The investigation revealed there has been a number of businesses in Bradley and Hamilton County that were called about donating to the sheriff's association. The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office is conducting a similar investigation of those allegations. Businesses who contributed were given a receipt for either the International Fire Service Yearbook or the Police and Sheriff's Association Law Enforcement Journal.
Any business in either Bradley County or Hamilton County who responded to a phone call by making a contribution to one of these organizations should contact the sheriff's office in their county. In Bradley County you should contact Detective Carl Maskew at 728-7337. In Hamilton County you should contact sheriff's Detective Robin Langford at 209-8940.
Sheriff Gobble thanked those who had called the sheriff's office or contacted him regarding the calls they received.
"Law enforcement and citizens working in unison to reduce crime and improve the quality of life in the community can make a difference," said Gobble.
Forni gave a business address of 1009 Keith Street, Suite E.