SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Charities in Michiana are warning an alleged sexual predator and federally convicted conman is using their charities to obtain information from potential victims. The charities being targeted are Toys for Tots and Christ Child Society of South Bend.
Vernado Malone, who has been convicted of federal fraud multiple times, has been using social media to claim to be working with the two charities. Malone, who is the founder of the non-profit Justice for Michiana, was accused of soliciting sex from a single mother earlier this year who was in search of services to help her child with disabilities. You can read about that here.
Malone was also part of a scheme in which he would take full-body nude photos of the recently deceased at a local funeral home and then share those photos. You can read about that here.
“We have nothing to do with him.” A spokesperson for Christ Child Society said. “We will not be accepting referrals from Vernado Malone or his associates.”
Christ Child is an organization that helps to clothe children living in poverty. The charity works with many single mothers and has many partnerships with legitimate organizations that provide referrals for families seeking assistance.
Malone had posted on social media that he was working with Christ Child and was soliciting information from people to “help” with referrals. The Christ Child spokesperson told REAL News Michiana they requested the social media posts to be removed as soon as they learned about them.
“I believe they have been taken down.” The spokesperson said. “We will not have anything to do with him (Malone).”
The organizers for the local Toys for Tots is similarly warning about Malone and Justice for Michiana after he made several claims to be working with them.
“He came by the office last week and gave me his business card and said he was trying to get applications.” Marine Sgt. Sherwin Lewis, who heads the local campaign, said. “That was it, he didn’t ask for any other information as far as that.”
Malone has been advertising a partnership with Sgt. Lewis on social media and is planning to have face-to-face meetings with families to do the application process. On one flier, he is requesting families to bring ID’s and proof of children, presumably birth certificates and social security cards.
“He has nothing that he is going to be doing with us.” Sgt. Lewis continued. “That’s a red flag for me. Nobody should be giving him information like that.”
“It’s a really simple process, you can go to our website and fill out the application there.” He said.
Another local activist, Vida Harley, is also listed on the social media flier as a partner. RNM spoke to her about Malone and the charities and explained Malone does not have a partnership with either one. Harley told RNM she did not want to be associated with a scam and planned to call Toys for Tots and ask Malone to remove her name from the online flier.
If you’d like to learn more about Toys for Tots or Christ Child, please visit their websites by clicking on the hyperlinks.
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