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Australian Teen Sentenced for Tsunami Aid Fraud

February 10, 2005

by Kevin Caruso

An Australian teen who pretended to raise money for tsunami relief, but was actually pocketing the money, pled guilty to fraud and was sentenced to 18 months probation and 60 hours of community service today.

Tegan Wanklyn, 17, from Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia, was soliciting donations with a can that read "Asia Relief Fund” when police officers spotted her and questioned her. Wanklyn said that she was collecting money for tsunami relief by selling “tickets” and that a hotel promised to match her fund “dollar for dollar.” But when police questioned the hotel owners they said that they never talked with her.

The bumbling teen raised $6.50 (U.S.) with her fraud.

The magistrate who sentenced Wanklyn said he was inclined to jail her but did not because of her young age and clean record.

Tsunami scams and frauds of all types have been occurring since the tsunami struck on December 26, 2004.

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