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Decatur woman charged with charity fraud

By Jason A. Smith

jsmith@henryherald.com

A local merchant said he is among the victims of a Decatur woman, who is in police custody for allegedly scamming area businesses in the name of charity.

Marsha Lynn Foster, 47, is charged with three counts of theft by deception, and four counts of identity fraud. She is reportedly being held in the DeKalb County Jail on a probation violation.

According to Gwinnett Daily Post, Foster allegedly defrauded at least five businesses in Gwinnett and Barrow counties, by passing herself off as a Toys for Tots worker.

According to Willie Thompson, owner and chief operating officer of Marco's Pizza, at 298 Racetrack Road in McDonough, he can be added to Foster's list of alleged victims.

Thompson said he became a fraud victim when he encountered the suspect on Sept. 23, seeking sponsors for a supposed charity event. "She came in representing the Children's Miracle Network, and Boys and Girls Clubs of Atlanta," said Thompson. "She said she was doing a fund-raiser at a car wash on Racetrack Road. She asked us to sponsor it with a booth, and to sell pizzas."

Thompson said he arranged, with Foster, to schedule four car-wash events, including one in conjunction with the V-103 radio station on Sept. 26. He also gave her a total of $100 -- $25 for each of the supposed fund-raising events, he said.

"She gave me a receipt with her business card," said Thompson.

"The manager [of the car wash] told me the lady was trying to scam him and other businesses in the area," said Thompson.

He said his next step was to fill out a (complaint) report with the McDonough Police Department. Officials there could not be reached for comment Monday.

According to the Gwinnett Daily Post, however, police in Winder suspect Foster of defrauding businesses in that city, of at least $200. The suspect also is believed to have targeted other businesses in Bartow County.

Thompson said he was "relieved" to learn Foster had been arrested. "For her to be scamming people and using children's charities ... , it breaks my heart."