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Police charge Wash’ville man for magazine scam

August 31, 2012
By KEVIN HOWELL - Staff Writer , Morning Journal News

BELOIT- Goshen police continue to investigate a magazine sales scam after charging a Washingtonville man this week for scamming two elderly residents in Green Township.

Matthew J. Sharp, 31, 215 Chris Ave., was charged with two counts of fifth-degree felony theft by deception after turning himself in to Washingtonville police on charges that he solicited magazine sales door-to-door and kept the money.

According to Goshen officer Kevin Johnson, Sharp was posing as a Youngstown State University student and selling magazines for the university's communication department as a fundraiser in which the university received the money and St. Jude's Hospital received the magazines. He turned himself in after learning officers were looking for him after the two residents reported he had cashed their personal checks in Washingtonville. Police believe he was using the money to purchase drugs.

Sharp is reportedly cooperating with the investigation and has claimed to have scammed multiple residents including those from other jurisdictions in the area. He told officers that he targeted the southwest end of Roller Road between Lisbon and Beaver Creek roads in Green Township.

"He said he was looking for people who were at home and not necessarily just the elderly," Johnson explained.

Additional charges may be filed as the investigation continues. Anyone who believes they were deceived should contact their local police department.



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