(Photo by Marta Jewson for www.MidCityMessenger.com)
Warren Easton Charter High School officials are battling a scam that’s stolen several thousand dollars from area businesses.
Regina Wilkins, director of development at Warren Easton, warned the Mid-City Neighborhood Organization about several individuals and organizations that solicit businesses for T-shirt sponsorships, though none of the money raised goes toward the school. The scammers approach local businesses and ask for a donation – usually in the $1,000 to $2,000 range – toward a T-shirt that features the business’ name printed on the back.
The T-shirts are made and distributed to the businesses but those soliciting are not doing so on Warren-Easton’s behalf, Wilkins said.
“We don’t see any of that money,” Wilkins said.
School officials have been battling similar scams for years, most notably in 2014 when administration debated taking legal action against a group who misused the school’s name online to pocket alumni money. Several websites were selling false alumni memberships and gear, ex-officio board member Arthur Hardy said.
Warren Easton staff have made phone calls, written letters and issued cease-and-desist letters to the scammers, Wilkins said. So far, there’s been no more legal action.
Alexina Medley, Warren Easton’s principal, said legal action in the future may be possible.
“We also will be consulting attorneys to see what our next steps are as we continue to gather information,” she said.
Wilkins advised MCNO that any solicitations for donations or scholarships for Warren Easton are only valid if issued with the school’s letterhead or signed by principal Alexina Medley.
Emily Leitzinger, MCNO interim president, asked Wilkins if any other area high school has had similar problems, but Wilkins denied hearing about similar scams elsewhere.
If anyone has questions about a Warren Easton solicitation, please contact Amanda Winfield-Buford at 324-7426 or Wilkins at 324-7436.