May 4, 1996 in City

Bogus Charity Founders Sentenced

From Staff And Wire Reports

A federal judge sentenced the founders of a bogus children’s charity in Spokane to home detention Friday for fraudulently obtaining federal food.

Letha Collins, 53, and her son, Darryl Hutchison, 32, were both sentenced to six months home detention, followed by two years of supervised release, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Rice.

The pair also was ordered to pay $11,424 in restitution.

In March, Collins pleaded guilty to two felony counts of making false statements to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Hutchison pleaded guilty to two counts of fraudulent acquisition of food commodities, also a felony.

The pair operated a charity in Mead they called QUESTS, which they claimed was housing and feeding needy children and others.

QUESTS collected more than 100 tons of food from the Department of Agriculture, the state of Washington and the Spokane Food Bank.

On a government form filed in 1990, Collins said the charity was feeding 56 abused, abandoned and neglected children at her home. She also said the charity operated a “soup kitchen” for the homeless.

Both statements were false, Rice said.

Under federal sentencing guidelines, Collins faced four to 10 months in jail, while her son faced six to 12 months.

, DataTimes

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