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Founder of Colorado Firefighter Calendar charged with fraud

The idea behind the charity was to help burn victims in the Children's Hospital Colorado about 65 miles north of Colorado Springs.

The founder of the nonprofit charity, Fired Up For Kids, now faces a long list of fraud charges, however.

She founded the organization back in 2004 to raise money for the burn unit at the well-known Aurora, Colorado, medical facility. The group sold calendars featuring photos of attractive, often scantily clad firefighters.

The 48-year-old mother who founded the organization is now accused of improperly taking more than $200,000 from the charity for her own use.

The charges against her include 13 counts of theft, four counts of charitable fraud, filing a false income tax return (three counts), a pair of counts of failure to file an income tax form and a single count of attempting to influence a public servant.

"The charges allege that beginning in 2005 she used money from the non-profit for her own personal use, including personal airline tickets, hair salon charges, car repairs and her children's private school tuition," said a spokesperson for a prosecutor.

She's also accused of providing false information to detectives investigating the allegations against her, as well as both filing tax forms with false information and failing to file tax forms.

She's accused of improperly taking $243,399 from Fired Up For Kids. She resigned her position from the charity in September of last year.

The Colorado Attorney General filed a suit against the charity last year, claiming the founder, who also served as its president and sole board member, had mingled her personal finances with those of the nonprofit as well as her for-profit company, Traction Communications.

Source: KDVR, "Colorado Firefighter Calendar founder formally charged with theft," June 12, 2012

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