Consumer Alert: The hero program

The man who ran a charity set up to help children dealing with serious illnesses is behind bars after diverting money from the program to himself. He took more than $90,000.

Steven Wetzel was the director of the children’s charity called the Hero Program.

“It was a program that was to be for things that insurance would not cover. So gas, transportation, if you needed help with utilities at a certain point.” says, fraud victim Kristie Campbell.

Campbell and her children attended many fundraisers and worked to help the charity as much as they could.
The Hero Program raised more than $300,000 to help families in need or so the families thought…when Kristie was in Jeopardy of losing her home… she asked if the fund could help.

“He said unfortunately, the organization had no money to give me,” says Campbell.

When families began comparing stories, there were a lot of discrepancies.

Postal inspectors say Wetzel didn’t give the money to sick children – he spent it on himself.

“He remodeled his kitchen, he did landscaping at his own house, he bought thousands of dollars of things at sporting goods’ stores for his own personal use,” says a postal worker.

Inspectors say the investigation was heartbreaking. It was so offensive and so disheartening to the families, that a lot of them cried because their child was used as pawns in these fundraisers.

Steven Wetzel pleaded guilty to mail fraud and tax evasion for stealing more than $90,000.

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