Tennessee Man Pleads Guilty to Sandy Hook Charity Fraud

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A Tennessee man has pleaded guilty to stealing money from the charity he created to benefit the people of Newtown, Connecticut, following the December 2012 massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Robert Bruce, 35, of Nashville, Tennessee, appeared in federal court in Hartford, Connecticut on Thursday and pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud stemming from the alleged misuse of money from the 26.4.26 Foundation.

The foundation solicited money, claiming it was for increased school safety, families of the victims, memorials to teacher heroes and awareness and prevention in schools across the country.

It held marathons in Tennessee and New Hampshire, with athletes dedicating each mile run to one of the 26 victims -- 20 children and six educators.

Instead of using the money for the intended purpose, Bruce used most of it to enrich himself and to support his personal training business, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

A co-founder of the charity said she notified authorities when Bruce could not account for about $73,000 of the $103,000 raised by the charity.

Bruce, who is free on bond, is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 30.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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