Two Middle Georgia men arrested in doughnut fundraiser scam

EATONTON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Eatonton investigators are accusing two Middle Georgia men of selling doughnuts to raise money for churches and then pocketing the cash.

According to the Eatonton Police Department, 57-year-old Francis Diana of East Dublin and 45-year-old Deric Kea of Wrightsville targeted cities all across Georgia during the scam.

Chief Kent Lawrence tells 41NBC the suspects drove to different towns to sell the doughnuts. They told the victims they were a fundraiser for different churches and youth groups, but they kept the money.

Lawrence says the suspects met with a local pastor’s wife on July 20 and tried to sell her the doughnuts. The police chief says they told her they were raising money for her church’s youth mission trip and she knew they were not selling doughnuts as a fundraiser.

Diana and Kea were found at a Huddle House in Greene County. They were arrested and are charged with 12 counts of theft by deception.

Investigators also found a calendar in their car listing the towns they targeted during the doughnut scam. According to the calendar, they traveled through 51 cities, including Sandersville, Forsyth, Soperton, Warner Robins, Hawkinsville, Cochran, Milledgeville, Sparta, Macon, Gray, Wrightsville, Dublin, East Dublin, and Eatonton.

Chief Lawrence warns all consumers to be careful where you buy items and make sure your money is going to a worthy cause.