Southeastern PA

Judge gives big bail discount to Don Tollefson

Bail dropped for Tollefson so he can enter treatment program

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. - Don Tollefson -- the embattled former Philadelphia sportscaster accused of ripping off more than 100 people in the name of charity -- received a big discount on his bail from a Bucks County judge.

On Wednesday, Judge James McMaster reduced bail to zero dollars. Bucks County Assistant District Attorney Ryan Hyde said this was done so Tollefson could enter a 30-day drug treatment program.

Hyde said the state is still is pursuing the theft charges against Tollefson and the case will continue once he is released from the program.

Prosecutors said there was about $100,000 stolen from more than 100 victims, including some from Berks County and the Lehigh Valley.

While they don't know the motive, prosecutors said they do know each case started the same way.

"They're usually tied to a sporting event," Hyde said during an interview with 69 News in February."I think the charitable solicitation in this particular case is that he would state for 'x' number of dollars, half of those dollars to be split between his charities and half to another charity."

Prosecutors said the only person who pocketed the money was Tollefson. A well-known Philadelphia sportscaster, he used his celebrity status to emcee and host charitable events or sell sports trip packages.

Tollefson promised half the money would go to charities like the Salvation Army or Special Olympics of Pennsylvania, according to authorities.

In court in February, Tollefson told the judge that he was surviving on Social Security and disability. He also told the judge that he was in a substance abuse treatment program, having been sober for 131 days.

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