FARMINGVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Suffolk County police have arrested a man for allegedly soliciting money for a nonexistent charity event.
David Papik, 33, was charged with second-degree scheme to defraud after police said he went door-to-door Wednesday and collected donations in Farmingville.
Investigators said Papik told residents he was raising money for a walk to benefit the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, but when a woman who donated $10 found out the walk didn’t exist, she called police.
Authorities said that Papik may have been involved in this type of scam in the past. In 2010 he was arrested for felony fundraising fraud for allegedly misrepresenting the Leukemia-Lymphoma Society.
Papik’s family said the charges against him are false.
“At this point I am going to have to ask you guys to please leave. He’s registered, he helps a lot of people, it’s a misunderstanding,” his sister told reporters.
Victims claim that it was no misunderstanding.
“We were taken advantage of,” Kimberley Cee said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Sixth Squad at 631-854-8652 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.
One resident said you have to be smarter than the crooks.
“I don’t understand why people would think, in this day and age, that it’s okay to randomly just give money to somebody who has some kind of claim,” the resident told WCBS 880 reporter Sophia Hall.
But that resident’s next-door neighbor said a lot of people just want to help those who are less fortunate.
The alleged scam has been a learning experience for young Farmingdale residents.
“You really want to know if someone is honest, rather than knock on your door and lie to you straight in the face to give them money,” sixth grader Savannah Schenck told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.
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