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Subject: Benifits to Parenting-Dont try this at home.

Written By: Race_Bannon on 01/23/03 at 05:09 p.m.

Parents Charged in Fake Cub Scout Scam


BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Parents of a 7-year-old boy pleaded guilty to scamming neighbors of nearly $700 by dressing their son in a Cub Scouts uniform and going door-to-door seeking donations for a nonexistent troop.

Anthony M. Herman, 46, and Sally Ann Gombocz, 45, of Bethlehem knocked on more than 150 doors between Jan. 7 and Jan. 18, collecting $667 as their son silently smiled, police said.

Herman said they perpetrated the scam because the family landscaping business was failing.

"What we've done here was a desperation act," Herman told a judge at the couple's arraignment Wednesday. "I'm not trying to minimize what I did. It was stupid, very stupid."

Bethlehem police arrested the couple after receiving tips from neighbors. Both were charged with theft by deception, corruption of minors, criminal conspiracy and related offenses.

Each faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Their preliminary hearings were set for Jan. 31.

The boy is not a Scout, though his parents convinced him he was when he put on the uniform, police said. He remains in the custody of his parents, who were released on $5,000 bail each, authorities said.

"That's awful ... using the child like that," said Sharon DeAngelis, who donated $5 Friday. "The little boy had a smile on his face. He didn't talk, though."

The couple told donors they were raising money for a camping trip for Cub Scout Pack 351, which does not exist, police said. Herman and Gombocz acknowledged spending the money, authorities said.

Michael Stempo, who has two sons who are Eagle Scouts, became suspicious when his wife said the boy's neckerchief was knotted - not held together with a Scout slide. Stempo also said Boy Scouts do not solicit for money door-to-door, though they sometimes sell popcorn or other items.

Subject: Re: Benifits to Parenting-Dont try this at home.

Written By: Rice Cube on 01/23/03 at 05:11 p.m.

That is so wrong.  I was a Cub Scout.  For shame, for shame...a pox on you, evil parents!