DeBary Golf & Country Club lost $6,500 as one of the alleged victims of a man who falsely claimed to be raising money for military veterans, deputies said Friday.
Anyone who thinks they were scammed by Blake or has information is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 386-254-1537.
$6,500 check bounced
During an investigation, a detective learned that Blake’s $6,500 check for his Oct. 28 fundraiser at DeBary Golf & Country Club bounced, said Andrew Gant, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office.
“The manager reported that Blake had about 40 people at the event, each of them paying Blake $100 to play golf and eat lunch,” Gant said in a statement.
The investigation began last week after the Sheriff’s Office got a complaint from a local business that provided Blake signs and banners for a fundraiser but was never paid.
No Harley donated nor displayed
Gant said the detective on the case quickly realized something was up.
“The detective found a promotion for a Memorial Day raffle of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle that was said to be donated by Bruce Rossmeyer’s Harley-Davidson and on display at Ace Café in Orlando,” Gant wrote. “However, Rossmeyer’s denied ever donating a Harley, and Ace said no Harley was on display for Blake or his organization.”
The detective went to Blake’s office, where the landlord said Blake had not paid for rent in six months.
Chitwood, Sheriff’s Office not affiliated
The case remains under investigation as other potential victims come forward, some prompted by seeing photos Blake has posted on Facebook featuring himself and various figures, including Sheriff Mike Chitwood. Neither Sheriff Chitwood nor the Sheriff’s Office were affiliated with Blake or his organization.
“The landlord was scheduled to meet with Blake at her office that morning, and she let the detective sit in on the meeting – introducing him to Blake as her friend,” Gant wrote.
At one point, Blake showed the “friend” videos of events like a fundraiser at DeBary Golf and Country Club.
“Blake also told the detective he could buy a raffle ticket for the Harley,” Gant added.
Orange City hotel scammed
The detective also discovered Blake’s tracks at a Holiday Inn in Orange City.
The hotel gave Blake a $100 donation to sponsor his golf tournament. Blake also asked for four free hotel rooms. He got a discount instead.
“But Blake’s debit card used for payment was ultimately declined, and his bill of $956.30 was never paid,” Gant wrote.
Gerald Riggs lost $2,500
Gant said former NFL running back Gerald Riggs was a victim. Riggs was a celebrity guest at the golf tournament. He received a $2,500 check from Blake that bounced.
The Second Chance Veterans Foundation website is at secondchanceveteransfoundation.org.
“Help U.S. Veterans Keep a home, start a business, create jobs, and to more effectively reintegrate back into society by partnering with the Veteran Entrepreneur Center,” the website said.
Blake was taken to the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach on Friday and held on $10,000 bail.
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