Plea deal in works for man who

allegedly stole Addie donations

 

By Robert Stevens

Managing editor

Feb. 22, 2018

 

PROVO—James Fowlke Richards, 46, Pleasant Grove, is scheduled for arraignment today after Sam Pead, deputy Utah County attorney, noted during a hearing on Feb. 8 that a plea deal is being negotiated with Richards.

Richards allegedly stole funds intended for Addie Lynn Fausett, the young girl from Fountain Green who received thousands upon thousands of Christmas cards and packages.

Little Addie died on July 29, 2016, and was buried in Nephi, initially without a grave marker.

Addie’s mother, Tami Fausett, visited Addie’s gravesite often, and nearly a year after Addie’s death, a burial marker was donated.

Tami had trusted Richards, yet she said, according to KSL, “He took what was donated for her headstone and for her funeral and medical bills, and I don’t know what happened to it.”

She added, “I thought he was a nice guy, a good person. We really liked him as a person, as a friend. He made us think he really cared for our family. But if he can make fake statements and lie and take money that he said was for my sick child, he’s not a good person.”  According to court documents, Richards is accused of using fake documents to seek reimbursements from charity organizations, claiming he had paid Addie’s medical bills, yet he kept some of the money amounting to thousands of dollars.

Tami expressed concern that the money taken came from donations caring strangers, in some cases noting that the donation was all they could spare.

Richards was charged in October 2016 with three counts of communications fraud (second-degree felonies), and he was also charged with forgery (a third-degree felony).

Tami appeared in Provo on Feb. 8 and is reported by the Deseret News to have said, “I was hoping it could be done and over with just because it has been dragging on for so long.”     She added, Richards “made us all believe he was a friend and he loved Addie. … I feel betrayed and hurt. He used my child.”

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