A marine and his son who were in charge of collecting money and toys for needy children are now facing major theft charges.
The two are accused of stealing thousands of dollars from toys for tots and all coming at the expense of children who may have gone without last Christmas.
Bob Graham who is in charge of the program is upset that Rusty Gaines and his son Josh Gaines betrayed his trust and the trust of his program at the peril of needy children.
“A lot of parents give their children a dollar to put in the donation jar and for somebody to go along and steal from these kids is really bad,” says Graham. “It really hurt, I mean he not only stole money from our league, from the state league, but a person has to be pretty low to take away a child’s Christmas.”
On Tuesday Gaines and son were indicted by a Franklin County grand jury for thefts totaling more than $40,000.
Rusty Gaines was the treasurer for the Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon detachment of the Marine Corps League from 2012 to June of this year. His son Josh was the Toys for Tots coordinator. Joel Jennings, another marine, says that he noticed some financial discrepancies in June.
“That’s when we realized that what should have been a $20,000 account was actually a negative $1,000 account,” says Jennings.
Jennings says money wasn’t deposited into the “Toys for Tots” account in 2013 and no toys were distributed for Christmas.
Josh Gaines was the only person trained to run the “Toys for Tots” program. In losing him, the program can no longer use that name. Now they are continuing the mission of collecting toys under the name “Toys for Kids” until a replacement can be trained.
Despite the setback, the group is continuing their goal of making Christmas merry for needy children.
“The overall mission has not changed, we’re still here, still collecting, still out in the cold, to make sure that the needy children of Franklin and Anderson County do have a good Christmas,” says Jennings
Donations are being accepted at the Frankfort Big Lots on Black Friday and the Lawrenceburg Walmart on Saturday December 6.