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Happy Valley man charged with running fake charity

 
Posted Wednesday, May 14th 2014 @ 8am

On Tuesday, the Happy Valley Police, working with other agencies, served a search warrant at 11056 SE Hilltop Ct. in Happy Valley. Following the warrant service, deputies arrested Michael Andrew Brennan, age 50, on three counts of Theft by Deception. Brennan is alleged to have committed food-stamp fraud, defrauded his disabled father-in-law, and accepted charitable donations for a non-existent non-profit organization. Happy Valley Police are looking for additional possible victims; tips are sought.

Authorities believe Michael Brennan had been accepting donations through a website and Facebook page, both titled "Saving America's Heroes" -- telling donors that proceeds went to the "Matthew M. Brennan Foundation ... a 501 (C) (3) non-profit organization ... for America's soldiers." However, no such 501 (C) (3) filing exists, and funds raised had allegedly been going into a personal bank account.

On Michael Brennan's website, he and his wife Maria Brennan wrote that the nonexistent foundation had been created to help soldiers with PTSD, and had been founded in honor of their late son Matthew Brennan, an Oregon Army National Guard veteran who committed suicide in 2011 at age 22.

Authorities have not found evidence that any funds donated to "Saving America's Heroes" went toward the stated mission of the website.

Authorities also allege that Brennan stole money from his father-in-law -- a 65-year paraplegic -- taking money from the victim's bank account and using it for personal purchases, including the purchase of a Happy Valley home.

Brennan also allegedly convinced multiple local contractors to donate remodeling services to the Happy Valley home in the name of the Matthew M. Brennan Foundation, which does not have the 501 (C) 3 designation repeatedly claimed by Michael Brennan.

Michael Brennan was booked into the Clackamas County Jail. His bail is $45,000.

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