Two men pleaded guilty to theft by deception on Monday for operating a business they claimed was a charity for Sept. 11 victims and their families. Thomas Scaligione and Mark Niemczyk reportedly sold t-shirts featuring New York police and fire department logos out of a truck and made over $50,000 which they never donated to charity, the Associated Press reports.
“These con men shamelessly exploited the generosity of others, enriching themselves by diverting funds that were intended for the families of 9/11 victims,” acting New Jersey Attorney General John Hoffman said. “These guilty pleas ensure that Niemczyk and Scalgione will carry criminal records for the rest of their lives that will bear witness to their greed and deviousness.”
Mark Niemczyk will be sentenced on March 7, according to the Associated Press, and prosecutors are set to recommend that he spend a year in county jail followed by probation. Scalgione will receive probation and may do some time behind bars for violating the terms of an unrelated probation.
The two are also being required to pay over $120,000 in fines and are permanently banned from participating in charity work.