BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Shawnta Carmon and her estranged husband Hassan Carmon of Allentown are going to court on charges that they scammed more than $1 million from the late philanthropist Linny Fowler.
Both suspects waived their preliminary hearings Monday before Northampton County Magisterial District Judge Roy A. Manwaring II.
They were charged with theft and conspiracy after a grand jury investigated Fowler's charitable gifts to the couple from 2008 to 2012.
Taking advantage of Fowler's generosity, the suspects allegedly claimed they needed the money for medical bills, but spent it on a lavish lifestyle.
The couple asked Fowler for money for medical bills for two children, including a young girl who needed a heart transplant, according to court records. Fowler also gave them money for dental bills, a college education and a car.
But, according to Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli, they actually spent the money she gave them on expensive clothing, jewelry, limousine transportation and gambling.
Fowler died in February.
"Mrs. Fowler's money has been used for so many good purposes that a million dollars could have helped a lot of people or other organizations," said Morganelli.
It's a tragedy taking advantage of people's generosity. And this money was squandered by these individuals and Mrs. Fowler's money has been used for so many good purposes that a million dollars could have helped a lot of people or other organizations.
Morganelli says Folwer's passing earlier this month was unexpected, but that it won't impede the investigation.
He says he spoke with Folwer's husband and children and they want anyone who scammed Linny to be prosecuted.
Meantime, the Carmon's are being held at the Northampton County prison and will be back in court next month.
Allentown, PA 18102