HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Tennessee endurance athlete has agreed to plead guilty to charges he stole money from the charity he set up to benefit the people of Newtown following the December 2012 massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Robert Bruce, 34, of Nashville, is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Hartford on May 12 for a change of plea hearing.
Bruce faces six federal wire fraud charges stemming from the alleged misuse of money from the 26.4.26 Foundation. Bruce was arrested in February 2015.
The foundation held marathons in Tennessee and New Hampshire, with athletes dedicating each mile run to one of the 26 victims — 20 children and six educators.
According to the indictment, Bruce solicited contributions through PayPal by telling donors that all proceeds would go to the foundation with a mission to “provide funding for the families of victims, memorials for teacher heroes and to increase safety in schools across the country.” He is accused of using the money to enrich himself and to support his personal-training business.
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.
Adam Lanza, 20, opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2014, killing all the victims before taking his own life.
The school was demolished and a new Sandy Hook school is set to open in the fall of 2016 at the same site.
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