Sportscaster Don Tollefson Waives Hearing on Fraud Charges
By Brad Segall and Nicole Brewer
WARMINSTER, Pa. (CBS) — Former television sportscaster Don Tollefson has been ordered held for trial in Bucks County on charges he stole money from individuals, groups, and charities by offering to sell them ticket packages and then not delivering.
Prosecutors say they had seven witnesses ready to go who would have told the judge they contracted with the Tollefson, 61, for sports packages and gave him money, but never received anything.
Tollefson waived the hearing. His attorney, Sharif Abaza, said his client didn’t want to burden the Commonwealth’s witnesses.
“It is no secret that Mr. Tollefson has an addiction problem,” noted Abaza. “On that note it should be no secret that Mr. Tollefson has been working on a daily basis to fight that addiction and remain in recovery.”
Meanwhile, the scope of the case grows.
“I think at this point we are comfortable saying we have more than 150 victims, a little over $250,000 in economic loss, people who have been victimized, companies that have been victimized, charities that have been victimized,” prosecutor Ryan Hyde noted.
“It’s an ongoing investigation and we are looking forward to our day in court in Doylestown.”
Witnesses like Cindy Moffitt, who say Tollefson cheated them out of a lot of money, promising sports packages consisting of tickets, hotel rooms, even airfare.
“It’s very emotional. We looked up to him and now we can’t trust him and that’s a little bit heartbreaking.”
From the bench, the judge lectured Tollefson, telling him, “You were a respected member of the community who had credibility,” and “this whole affair is a big disappointment for the people of the Delaware Valley.”
Abaza, the attorney would not talk about strategy or a potential plea deal for Tollefson:
“There’s a lot to be done. There’s a lot to be discovered. When the Commonwealth reveals discovery, we’ll go through it at that point,” he said.
Tollefson thanked the news media for respecting his family’s privacy, and said he wishes he could say more but said he’s feeling stronger.