A man suspected of stealing from a local charity is wanted on theft by conversion charges.
Statesboro police hope citizens will help locate the man, who has a history of involvement with numerous local charitable organizations.
Jeremy Wardell Foreman, 30, is wanted on felony theft by conversion charges and a warrant is out for his arrest, according to Statesboro police reports.
According to a spokesperson for Feed the Boro, a local charitable effort that provides Thanksgiving meals for the less fortunate each year, Foreman took about $1,800 in "collected donations" meant for the charity.
The spokesperson, who asked not to be identified, said "Records collected from (Statesboro police) Detective (Lt.) Robert Bryan confirmed there were several purchases made (from the account holding funds meant for the charity) to Gnat's Landing, a purchase at El Jalapeno and a purchase for a plane ticket. None of which were agreed upon."
The donations were collected in the name of Feed the Boro and deposited in an account under the name of "Savannah Community Foundation," the spokesperson said.
But a call to that organization was met with confusion. The foundation was unaware of the account, which was controlled by Foreman, the spokesperson said.
"When I tried to contact him, I was not receiving any response for a few months. When I called the bank I found out the account had been closed and the funds were gone," the spokesperson said. "It is disheartening that someone that so many people trusted within our community could take advantage of funds used to feed those less fortunate. I truly hope he pays the funds back and does not try to take advantage of another organization working to better the lives of others."
Emails between the Feed the Boro spokesperson and Foreman, discussing the charity and donations, were made available to the Statesboro Herald Tuesday. In those emails, Foreman referred to the way online donations were deposited, and how receipts were handled.
The emails were in response to queries by the charity spokesperson about records of donations and deposits. No receipts for the donations were provided, and Foreman did not respond to further efforts to contact him, the spokesperson said.
In an email, Foreman stated: "By the way, we've got a climate controlled storage facility if supplies need to be staged or you get nonperishable and other in-kind items ... and utensils, containers donated that need to be stored ahead of time."
According to his emails, Foreman listed himself as being executive director for Georgia Serves & Hands On Southeast Georgia; ServeNext Georgia District captain for the Save Service in America campaign; and the co-chair for the GIVE (Georgia Inspiring Volunteers to Engage) conference.
The Feed the Boro spokesperson said Foreman took possession of two pickup truck loads of cups, utensils, to-go plates, and nonperishable foods, but no one with the charity knows what happened to those donated items or where they may be stored.
Russ Simpson, the president of the Savannah Community Foundation, said Tuesday that Foreman did not act under authority of the foundation in opening an account.
"We have never had an account with any financial institution in Statesboro," he said, adding that the organization has no relationship with Foreman.
The Feed the Boro spokesperson filed a report with Statesboro police July 21, listing the dates of the theft as being between Nov. 1 and July 21. The case has been forwarded to the department's criminal investigations division, according to the report.
Anyone with information about Foreman or his whereabouts is asked to contact Detective Lt. Rob Bryan at (912) 764-9911. Anonymous tips maybe made online at www.tipsoft.com or by sending a text message starting with "TIPSSPD" to 274637 (CRIMES).
Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.