Tag: don tollefson (page 1 of 4)

BREAKING: Don Tollefson Found Guilty on All Counts

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After deliberating for a few hours last night and continuing this morning, the jury in Don Tollefson’s fraud trial came back with a guilty verdict on all five counts. Tollefson faces a maximum of 30 years in prison. We’ll have more on this as it develops.

UPDATE: Tollefson’s sentencing hearing has been deferred for 30 days. He’ll be able to post bail (10% of $350,000) to be out on his own recognizance until then under electronic surveillance. He’s asked the judge to give him ten days to come up with the money because he is broke, but has some memorabilia he can sell. If he can’t? He’ll stay in jail until sentencing.

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Don Tollefson Goes with the “I Did It!” Defense in His Closing Argument

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Don Tollefson, who’s acting as his own lawyer, offered his closing arguments today. He tried to appeal to jurors’ hearts… by straight-up admitting that he’s totally guilty.

These are actual quotes from Tollefson, as tweeted and recorded by reporters in attendance:

I’m to blame. I’m to blame because I didn’t see it coming.”

There’s a long list of Don Tollefson stupidity. Like the Dead Sea Scrolls. My heart shudders at what I did.”

“The assumption is that Don Tollefson took the money with criminal intent. My intent was to enable some of these kids to go do something that fed my soul.”

“I’m not going to stand here in front of you and tell you that 45 years of addiction to alcohol and opiates caused what happened to happen. I, Don Tollefson, caused what happened to happen.”

BRILLIANT!

Look, I’m not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, but I apparently took more law classes in college than Tollefson did, and if there’s one thing I learned, it’s that defendants typically want to avoid admitting guilt in their closing argument. That sort of emotional appeal for leniency should be saved for sentencing, which, I assume in Tollefson’s case, will be scheduled just as soon as the jurors can compose themselves long enough to write down their verdict.

UPDATE: Responding to commenter Dan, who says Tollefson is trying to deny intent, which is what matters in this case: I get that– but then you hide behind the drug and alcohol addiction, not claim that they had no impact. You don’t say “I’m to blame” when you’re trying to convince a jury that you’re, you know, not.

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Don Tollefson’s Trial Has Gone to Walley World

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Got a text this morning with an update from Tollie’s trial:

Now he wants to get his vitals taken during the lunch break at doylestown hospital because his blood sugar is high and his blood sugar reader isn’t working.

He just says he’s ok for now and that he usually knows when he is about to faint. Fiasco. Sherrifs transporting him to hosp for blood sugar test. Court in recess for 90 mins.  Eagles brass testified this am that they never give away tix, airfare or hotel accommodations.

Those Eagles brass did not include Howie Roseman, who’s in Turks and Caicos. It’s unclear who showed up, but it sounds like one of them was head of media relations Anne Gordon, who was previously on the witness list.

Laurie Mason Schroeder has been chronicling the trial for the Allentown Morning Call. She writes of the proceedings today:

Weintraub, the county’s chief of prosecution, cross-examined Tollefson for more than an hour, asking him about purchases made with a debit card linked to a charity bank account.

Tollefson admitted using the card 51 times at CVS and 25 times at Walgreens, spending more than $3,200 at the drugstores. He admitted that he had a painkiller addiction at the time and bought drugs with the card, but said he felt entitled as the only employee of the charity, Winning Ways.

Weintraub quizzed Tollefson about purchases made with charity money at beer distributors and liquor stores. He pointed out 14 payments to a dog-sitting service, two to a dog-grooming business and one $100 debit to an animal-cloning service.

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Um, what?

Tollefson is still undergoing tests at the hospital as of posting this on Thursday afternoon, according to Schroeder.

Sheep photo credit John Haslem, Flickr, Some Rights Reserved. Bah.

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Don Tollefson Will Have to Hand-Deliver Howie Roseman a Subpoena in Turks and Caicos If He Wants Him to Testify

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Today in absurd updates from Don Tollefson’s trial.

Jenny DeHuff, Daily News:

“Full restitution became a goal of mine,” [Tollefson] said. “My mission has been to make people whole.”

On Monday, Tollefson told the jury that toward the end of 2013, he began rummaging through his basement for things to sell. He brought in several items as evidence of what he was unable to sell after his arrest, including a Moses Malone figurine, a Tony Dungy autographed football and a Jamie Moyer bobblehead figurine.

Tollefson is charged with stealing more than $340k from his charities. His solution for the restitution? The same one you might have when you’re behind on rent. And he even sucks at doing that! I haggled down this super sweet Tollefson Sports TV SWEATER on eBay to a measly $20 last year (it’s unclear who the seller was):

Hayden Mittman, The Intelligencer:

Also during Tuesday’s proceedings, some confusion developed over how Tollefson had subpoenaed his witnesses. Several who were contacted by officers of the court reported that subpoenas were delivered to places where individuals no longer worked and were simply slid under the door.

Tollefson told the judge he wanted to subpoena several members of the Philadelphia Eagles head office, including Howie Roseman, the team’s vice president of football operations; Anne Gordon, senior vice president of media and communications, and Derek Boyko, the Eagles’ director of public relations.

Boylan told Tollefson to make sure those individuals are hand-delivered a subpoena, which may be difficult, as Tollefson’s assisting attorney, Robert Goldman, said Roseman is currently traveling to the islands of Turks and Caicos.

Glad to see Howie is at least putting his millions to good use and getting out of dodge for a few weeks the next six years.

But for real, I hereby volunteer to deliver that subpoena.

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Don Tollefson Goes with the Nixon Defense and May Subpoena Howie Roseman to Take the Stand

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Rough start to 2015 for lame duck millionaire Howie Roseman, who was pushed out of his job by an unofficial Chip, and now, might be forced to testify on behalf of Don Tollefson, the disgraced former sportscaster who’s acting as his own lawyer in a hilarious waste of public facilities.

“I’d rather be waterboarded,” Tom Fox, the father of slain officer Brad Fox, whose memorial fund was defrauded by Tollefson, told NBC 10. “This is a waste of time, it’s a waste of taxpayer money, and he’s just making a mockery of the courts.”

Oh it can’t be that bad… can it?

Hayden Mitman, The Intelligencer:

With four days of testimony stacked against him, ex-Philadelphia broadcaster Don Tollefson took the witness stand Monday afternoon to defend himself against fraud and theft charges.

But first the 62-year-old local celebrity told a Bucks County jury about his admiration for baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays.

That’s when county Judge Rea Boylan stepped in.

“While Willie Mays is a beloved figure, this isn’t about Willie Mays,” instructed Boylan in what would be one of many attempts to redirect Tollefson when he veered off topic.

Acting as his own lawyer, Tollefson then transported jurors back to his childhood. He covered his schooling, growing up in San Francisco, sports-reporting for his college radio station and covering the 1974 kidnapping of Patty Hearst while working for The Associated Press.

Boylan stopped him again.

A Tollefson victim who has been present at most of the court proceedings told me that Tollefson’s list of witnesses in some instances included only first names and last initials. When the judge pressed Tollie for surnames, he said he only knew the witnesses in a capacity that didn’t allow him to know their last names. He brought up Adolf Hitler and Riley Cooper in his opening argument. He made mention of Pat Tillman to someone from the Wounded Warriors project.

The judge has repeatedly had to excuse the jury to brief Tollefson on the rules of her court. I’m told Tollefson showed up to one of the proceedings with broken eyeglasses. And as you can see, his collars are consistently massive.

“I’m a bad businessman, not a crook,” NBC 10 quoted Tollefson as saying.

And all of that is just the appetizer to this final bit: Tollefson plans to call Roseman to the stand:

The former Philadelphia sportscaster is already facing hurdles as he mounts his defense, which is expected to start Monday. Tollefson, who is representing himself, told a Bucks County Court judge on Friday that he could not afford the nearly $90 he will need to subpoena 25 of his witnesses.

Those witnesses, who apparently have not agreed to willingly testify, include Howie Roseman, executive vice president of the Eagles.

Several commenters on that Philly.com article have pledged $5 each to contribute to that $90 cost to subpoena witnesses. I hereby pledge the full $90 if that will expedite things.

The Eagles had previously sent Tollefson a cease and desist letter demanding he stop using their logo on flyers and that he stop saying he was “fired” by the team.

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Don Tollefson Will Represent Himself at Trial Because He Realized, Through Prayer, That He’s Innocent

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I don’t know if Tollie is confused or was confused, but I am certainly confused.

After being charged with fraud and pleading guilty to fraud, Don Tollefson rescinded his plea at a hearing today. Tolly claimed that, through prayer, he realized he was not guilty. I imagine after months of praying for forgiveness for fraudulently using the names of charities to get people to give you money that you then kept, it must be shocking when God chimes in and tells you that you totally didn’t use the names of charities to get people to give you money that you then kept.

Tollie’s lawyers did not want him to withdraw his guilty plea, and he cannot afford other lawyers, so he’s going to go ahead and represent himself at trial next month [Editor’s note: I might send Jim to this]. There is currently no word on if initially pleading guilty will hurt his case.

Tolly is charged with defrauding more than 200 people of about $317,000 by selling them bogus travel packages that he claimed would support THE CHILDREN. His trial will begin on January 5, and I can only assume what Kyle will be wearing that day.

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Don Tollefson Pleads Guilty to Fraud

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Don Tollefson, who had been accused of defrauding about 200 people of hundreds of thousands of dollars (and bummed us out beyond comprehension), has pleaded guilty to charges of fruad.

Tollie reportedly told the judge that he has struggled with “45 years of alcholism and drug addiction and multiple mental-health issues.” Sentencing has been deferred for 60 days, but The Inquirer reports that jail-time is expected.

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Don Tollefson Gets Scolded By a Judge, Utters Saddest Statement of All-Time

Don Tollefson declined his right to a preliminary hearing today. His case will go to trial, where prosecutors will present their case for what they’re now saying is $250,000 worth of fraud. Lovely.

A reader who was in attendance – who was ripped off by Tollie – emailed the following:

Tollie waived his hearing and got a little tongue lashing from the judge. He gave a prepared statement to the press. He walked in the courthouse in a suit that was two sizes too small with a button-down shirt two sizes too big.

From The Intelligencer:

District Judge Daniel Finello scolded Tollefson in the courtroom.

“You are a trusted and respected member of our community – you were revered,” Finello said. “What you told us about the Phillies, Eagles and Sixers was true. Because of that I think I’d be far from wrong if I said that this whole affair, this whole mess, is a big disappointment to everyone in the Delaware Valley.”

And one of the saddest two paragraphs ever courtesy of Philly.com:

Tollefson told the throng of reporters: “Thank you for the respect of my wife and my daughter in particular at their home because as you may know I’m separated and living in the city in a North Philadelphia apartment.”

He then shook hands with several reporters and even gave one a hug before driving off.

Seems like a perfect day to wear:

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