A Polk County man is accused of pocketing money raised from a bogus charity for military veterans.

  • Christopher Edwards charged with grand theft among other charges
  • State Attorney says Edwards ran organization called 'Power to our Vets'
  • Suspect held raffles, but winner rarely received prize
  • Reporter Stephanie Claytor has more during evening newscasts
  • RELATED: Volusia deputies: Veterans charity was a scam, founder arrested

Christopher H. Edwards, 49, of Winter Haven, ran an organization called "Power to our Vets" for which he asked for money to help veterans pay their power bills.

"In reality, he was stealing from local businesses and residents, including veterans, to line his own pockets," according to a Thursday news release from the Office of State Attorney Brian Haas.

Edwards held raffles at events and had a presence on social media and his own website. Authorities say money he collected from the raffles was deposited into his own accounts.

"Edwards often failed to award the prizes he offered up for raffle and failed to apply the contributions he received in a manner consistent with his solicitation," the news release said.

In one March 2016 case, according to the State Attorney, Edwards held a raffle for a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The winner was never able to claim the prize despite paying a sales tax on the bike.

Edwrds was charged with grand theft and soliciting funds without a license, among other charges.

Officials said anyone who thinks they may be a victim should call 863-534-4920.