YONKERS – On July 7, 2017, the Yonkers Police Department became aware of a scheme to defraud the public involving the sale of fake raffle tickets purporting to support the cause of Nolan Scully, according to authorities
Nolan Scully was a 4-year-old boy from Leonardtown, Maryland, who tragically passed away on February 4, 2017, after battling cancer for a year and a half. At the age of 3, he was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare soft-tissue cancer. His fight with this disease was documented on social media under the name NolanStrong, eventually reaching hundreds of thousands of people all over the world.
The Yonkers Police Department was notified by the Aisling Irish Community Center on McLean Avenue that raffle tickets in Nolan’s name were being sold to patrons of local bars and restaurants for a fictitious fundraising event to be supposedly held at the Center on July 29.
No event was ever scheduled with the Center, said authorities.
Upon contacting the family of Nolan Scully, it was confirmed that someone was selling raffle tickets without their permission or authority, and even downloaded Nolan’s image from the NolanStrong Facebook page to be printed on the fake tickets. The Yonkers Police Department initiated a criminal investigation.
Officers from the 2nd Precinct and Detectives from the Financial Crimes Unit interviewed multiple subjects, canvassed and identified witnesses and victims who purchased tickets, and reviewed hours of surveillance video. A suspect was identified and sufficient evidence collected which yielded probable cause to charge that suspect with a crime.
On Thursday, Yonkers Police Detectives arrested Tracey Jacqueline Weir, a 35 year old female resident of Yonkers, for allegedly ‘perpetrating the above described fraud’ said authorities. Weir was charged with one count of Scheme to Defraud 1°, a Class E Felony.
Police Commissioner Charles Gardner stated, “This defendant allegedly defrauded multiple people using the name of a deceased child. Not only were the victims affected, but the family of Nolan Scully more so; their unimaginable loss was exploited for selfish greed, compounding their pain and suffering. It is our hope that with this arrest, we can offer the Scully family some degree of closure to this upsetting incident.”
Weir was arraigned in Yonkers Criminal Court on August 10. The prosecution of this case is being managed by the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office.