Charity con-artist threatens businesses


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Updated: 9/12/2012 11:17 pm Published: 9/11/2012 10:51 pm


A woman who organizes charity events for kids is now the focus of a Tulsa police investigation.

At least two businesses claim a woman has been harassing them and FOX23 News has learned she has a criminal history for violating the state’s charity act.

The invitation for a kids event offering families, health and leadership appears legitimate but the event has been cancelled.

Children’s Academy school planned to rent a facility from Soccer City on Saturday and the woman behind the private school

"It was always Lori, always Lori from Tulsa_Kids @aol.com and the Children's Academy,” said Little Gym Director Kari Chamberlain.

She said Lori tried to get the gym to get involved in the weekend event for kids at Soccer City.

"To me she wants to use our name to draw people to the event,” said Chamberlain.

The invitation pitches paid sponsorship, promising portions of the proceeds go to charity. However, Lori kept pushing.

"The employee said the hair was standing on top of my neck and she was shaking,” said Chamberlain.

On Monday, Chamberlain said Lori called the gym ten times in 15 minutes.

"When I asked her last name that just sent her over the edge and she got this belligerent voice and she said ‘listen to me little girl, I own my business’ and went off,” said Chamberlain.

Emails showed Lori made similar threats to Soccer City where she wanted to hold the event. They got suspicious on Monday and did some digging.

The Lori from Children’s Academy, matched up with a woman named Loreal Stroud, who has used several aliases. Records shows she was convicted in Logan County in 2006 for taking money for a charity that didn't exist.

Department of Corrections said her alias names are Loreal Montague, Lorial Stroud. In emails sent to Soccer City, Little Gym and Tulsa Kids, Lori also used the name Lori Coavin and L’oreal. A former acquaintance said she went by Loreal or Lori Grant.

The phone numbers she’s listed are dead ends. One was a sober living home in Oklahoma City. A woman who answered to Lori moved out last Friday and only lived there for a few weeks. Others were not answered or it was a fax machine.

FOX23 sent Stroud an email and she called the newsroom and made similar threats.

“You know what? I am a paying customer and I have the opportunity to buy whatever it is I want to buy,” said Lori.

Chamberlain filed a police report and warned all of her employees.

"If this woman comes in here, call police," said Chamberlain.

As of right now, no one knows anything legitimate about Loreal Stroud or Children’s Academy.

"I do not want her to show up with kids and staff,” said Chamberlain.

Court records show Stroud is still on probation for the 2006 charity fraud conviction.

One of the leadership invitations for this weekend said proceeds will benefit Special Olympics.

FOX23 News talked with Special Olympics who said Children’s Academy and a woman named Lori has not been authorized to use its name.

To verify charity organizations the Better Business Bureau said you need to do your homework and go beyond checking phone numbers and names the charity gives you.

"When you are asked to give we want to you give but we want you to give wisely and do your homework."

Little Gym did not give any money to Children’s Academy. However, BBB recommends you remain cautious.

"Past behaviors indicate future behavior,” said Brinkley.

He recommends you check with the BBB or you can check with the Secretary of State’s who requires charitable organizations to register with the state (Oklahoma Solicitation of Charitable Contributions Act).  

You can also check with Guidestar.org that publicizes information about nonprofit organizations.

FOX23 News checked with the Secretary of State and found a Children’s Academy charity based out of Norman registered in 2006 but has expired.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

mrwizard77 - 9/12/2012 8:34 PM
0 Votes
We hired this woman to do sales for us. At the time we published a magazine and she was supposed to be selling ads for us. We quickly found out she was misrepresenting us to the clients and making promises we had not approved. When we confronted her she went ballistic. We then did some checking and discovered her past. We quickly terminated her. We ended up using a lawyer to get her to "cease and desist". I about fell out of my chair when I saw this news clip!

IMVHO - 9/12/2012 6:55 AM
0 Votes
Stroud is a thief and now she has issues with being treated like one. Heads up lady, legitimate businesses don't want anything to do with someone arrested for fraud. It's just not good business. You ruined your name they don't want you to do the same to them. Now you are just proving you didn't learn anything from the first time around.
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