A South Carolina man who was kicked out of the Marines in the 90s has been extradited to his home state after he stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from active-duty Marines and affiliated families.
John Shannon Simpson stole more than five grand from seven Marines through his “charity” known as Marines and Mickey.
Despite going AWOL and getting drummed out of the Marines on a bad-conduct discharge in 1998, Simpson falsely claimed that he was a retired Marine master sergeant, former drill instructor or former reconnaissance Marine. Using this fake background, he would ask Marines to donate to a charity on a monthly basis, usually in amounts of around $25.
According to the Independent Mail, Simpson would then use their credit card information to pull the agreed-upon amounts for his own personal use.
The charity “Marines for Mickey” was supposed to use proceeds so that Marines could go to Disney parks with their families, among other things.
While the charity received around $481,000 of donations from 2014 through 2016, only about 19 percent of it was actually used for intended purposes, with Simpson diverting around $391,000 for his own use.
Using the diverted funds, Simpson funneled money into his now-defunct security business, paid for meals, covered tax costs related to his ex-wife’s adult novelty business, purchased bikinis, paid off a car and even covered dental work.
Aside from active Marines, other victims of the scam include Cathy Wells, who lost her son in the 2015 Tennessee recruiting station shooting. She made over $135,000 in donations, including a $75,000 loan to open a barbershop in her son’s name. The shop would never become a reality.
While Simpson was arrested in 2017 and received a nine-year prison sentence last year for burglary with assault or battery, obstructing justice, sexual assault, stalking and contempt of court for violating a domestic violence injunction, he has since been extradited to South Carolina on the wire fraud charge. He is scheduled to appear before a judge and is facing a maximum federal sentence of twenty years.
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