Man scams victims with fake veterans charity

James Bay

Investigators arrested a man who they say cashed in on his victims' sympathy for the nation's military veterans.

Mooresville police say 53-year-old James Bay is facing a corrupt business charge and eight counts of theft for allegedly selling brand new 47" Vizio televisions to raise money for veterans.

"I even asked him, 'How do I know you are not going to screw me over?'," said Kaci Hennessy.

Hennessy is one of Bay's long list of victims. She is a stylist at K&A Salon in Mooresville. Just before Christmas, Kaci and several of her co-workers gave down payments for a new television.

Christmas came and went, but there were no new televisions.

"He said there was a death in the family and it would be after the first of the year, I think, and then we didn't hear from him for awhile," she said.

They probably won't hear from Bay, now that he's been arrested and charged. The stylists kept a folder full of receipts as a reminder about their money.

Police say victims at several businesses gave thousands of dollars to Bay. Investigators say he used the same line on employees at a business called "Just A Little Bit More" in Mooresville.

As Mooresville police use social media to look for more victims taken in the TV scam, Air Force veteran Thomas McGlauchlen says there are vets that need help.

"We got veterans that are living under bridges, coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan that are trying to make their living," he said.

McGlauchlen hopes the scam Bay was running doesn't hurt real fundraisers for veterans.

Bay was previously convicted in Shelby County. No date has been set for his trial in Morgan County.

Police are encouraging other victims to come forward so prosecutors can build a stronger case against Bay. Five more victims came forward to police Thursday evening.