Chicago (EWA) – A local prosecutor in Campbell County, represented by Wyoming State Rep. Sue Wallis, has announced there was no finding of fraud in a truck raffle culminating at the "Summit of the Horse" meeting last month in Las Vegas. But rather than settling the issue, the prosecutor’s findings only raise more questions.
The raffle began in 2009 with an announcement that a 2009 Dodge 2500 SLT would be raffled off at the National Finals Rodeo. The 2500 SLT truck shown and described was a high-end vehicle, with an automatic transmission, and had a list price of approximately $44,000.
In August, 2010 Wallis circulated an e-mail claiming only 302 tickets had been sold. Though she had been implying for months there was a truck for the raffle, Wallis, at that time, asked if she might keep the money as a donation because there were insufficient proceeds to buy a truck for the raffle. Apparently the ticket purchasers rejected the idea.
Bait and switch
Then in November of 2010, a year after the original tickets had been sold, a truck had yet to be awarded and an announcement from Sue Wallis stated that (still) only 302 tickets had been sold, that the drawing would be in January (2011) and that tickets were still available. The description of the truck, however, was given as a plain straight shift having a retail price of $11,000 less than the original ticket purchasers had been told would be awarded.
According to the prosecutor, Campbell County Attorney Jeani Stone, money from the raffle was turned over to "organizers," that Wallis did not personally benefit, and that the truck was given away.
But Wallis was the primary organizer, and she is the Vice President of United Horsemen, the organization holding the raffle. Is Stone suggesting that Wallis did receive the money from the raffle?
Stone also announced there were 147 raffle tickets sold. But in her August and November (2010) announcements, Wallis said 302 were sold. What happened to the other 155 tickets? That is at least $15,500 unaccounted for.
Also, it appears that more than 302 tickets may have been sold. Wallis seems to have stopped counting ticket sales as of August, 2010. She reports the same number sold by December, 2010 as she had in August, 2010. Where’s the money?
Bait and switch again
In fact, no truck was ever bought from Chapman Dodge. The company provided a "stand in" for the Summit, in expectation of selling the real truck, but, in fact, the sale never took place, and Chapman Dodge was given $500 for unwittingly providing the prop.
It doesn’t help that the ostensible raffle winner is reported to be a friend of the organizers — Wallis and Dave Duquette — and that he reportedly "took the cash because he did not like the truck." But the question is how much cash? Was it the original value of $44,000, or the proceeds of the sale that Wallis claimed to the attorney of just $14,700?
Wallis claims she has been cleared of all wrongdoing, but the Wyoming Secretary of State is still investigating and federal authorities may review her questionable use of IRS charitable designations and securities fraud. Also, Dr. Patricia M. Fazio has filed a supplemental complaint, raising these very questions about fraud and funds missing from the truck raffle…
Additional exhibit included in the supplemental complaint http://www.equinewelfarealliance.org/uploads/Exhibit_1.Chapman_emails.pdf