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Sheriff's investigator: Woman defrauded Red Cross

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Sheriff's investigator: Woman defrauded Red Cross

Mary Tillis

    Bulloch County Sheriff's investigators  are looking for a woman they say defrauded the American Red Cross, and hope citizens can provide information as to her location.
    Mary Tillis, 62, lived at Pioneer Trail near Collins Lake in Portal when her mobile home was destroyed by fire during the Christmas holidays, said Bulloch County Sheriff's Investigator Jared Akins.
    She and her family were "supposedly in Tennessee," when the home burned, but when she returned Tillis "immediately applied for assistance" from the American Red Cross, he said.
    Instead of listing just the occupants of the burned home, Tillis added four more names of people who did not live there, he said. "She received ... (about $800) .. for two sons and families who did not live with her."
    Tillis was already facing court for previous charges filed against her in late November or early December, 2007, he said.
    In that case, she was charged with felony theft by deception,  forgery and exploitation of a disabled person after forging  and insurance settlement document and taking $10,000 that belonged to her "legally blind sister," Akins said.
    When he spoke with Tillis about the fraudulent dealings with the American Red Cross, informing her there were warrants pending against her for felony theft by deception in that case as well, she apparently fled the area with one of her sons, he said. "They seem to be on  the run."
    Akins asks that anyone with information on Tillis' whereabouts call him at (912) 764-8888.
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