Gary R. Tomey II, 46, of Pace, and Eric T. Eakes, 29, of Milton, were arraigned last week in the U.S. District Court in Pensacola after a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging them with conspiracy and mail fraud. The indictment was announced by Christopher P. Canova, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
The indictment alleges between December 2008 and May 2012, Tomey and Eakes ran Children and Family Services Inc. (later called Children’s Charitable Services Inc.), a telemarketing company that fraudulently solicited charitable donations via telephone calls from an office in Milton. Tomey and Eakes are alleged to have instructed employees to fraudulently tell potential donors living in other states the employees were volunteers and all proceeds helped children in the state where the potential donor lived. The indictment further states Tomey and Eakes intentionally used a charity name similar to a state agency and failed to disclose their organizations had been previously sanctioned in other states for fraudulent solicitations. The indictment alleges more than $1.2 million raised as charitable donations went to pay the defendants’ and employees’ salaries, business expenses, and Tomey’s personal expenses. The trial is scheduled for December 7, 2015.
This case resulted from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Alicia H. Kim is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation by a grand jury that a defendant has committed a violation of federal criminal law and is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.