Local charity owner faces theft charges, police say

Local News

PATTON, CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Police have filed charges against the owner of Bri’s Rock and Ride charity after discovering monies being used to benefit his personal business, Bri’s Water Warrior Watering System.

Police have charged Brian Gates, 57, of Patton, with theft by deception, receiving stolen property, and related charges after an investigation that police say started when volunteers started to get suspicious about the non-profit.

Gates allegedly had 400 participants in the Rock and Ride event and also collected money with a basket raffle, 50/50 and other games of chances without any sort of small game license. Police report that a search at First National Bank showed an account under “Rock & Ride for Riyo” that had a balance of $8,705.53 five days after the 2017 event.

Records reportedly showed that 13 days later the balance was just over $500.

On December 20, 2017, a social media post was made by Bri’s Rock and Ride stating three schools have been contacted about collecting money from the event. Police report the account in question only had $13 in it on that day.

Police talked to officials at all three schools and say that they were offered a Kangen water filtration system valued at $2,500. Two of the schools reportedly did not need a new system and declined. They state they were not offered anything after that.

Police later discovered that Gates is a Kangen Water distributor and owner of “Bri’s Water Warrior Watering System.”

Police allege that Gates ultimately used funds from the Rock and Ride account for personal use, including buying Kangen water systems that he would receive credit and financial benefits for selling.

Gates is currently awaiting a court date.

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