Phyllis Thomas passed through Lee County last week picking up donations from area businesses by claiming to be raising funds for her ill daughter, using certificates displaying the name St. Jude's Children's Hospital Kidney Research Fundraiser.
On April 14, Giddings Police Detective Corporal Lacey Carvin was contacted by a Sergeant with the Jasper Police Department in reference to Thomas, who had been arrested by the agency for a warrant. The Sgt. advised that Thomas had numerous business cards from Giddings area businesses in her possession with dollar amounts written on the backs of the cards.
The Sgt. advised that after interviewing Thomas, he learned that she had been traveling through the State of Texas and presenting the certificates to local businesses and asking for donations for her ill daughter.
The Sgt. also advised that the woman had informed him that she was not affiliated with St. Jude's Hospital and that her daughter, who was in the vehicle with her at the time of her arrest, was not ill and that she was collecting the donations to support her Vicodin addiction. The Sgt. confirmed with St. Jude's that neither Thomas nor her daughter were affiliated with the organization and that St. Jude's had been trying to locate Thomas for the past year after they had received information that she had fraudulently obtained money using the St. Jude's name.
The Sgt. provided Carvin with the names on the business cards that were found in Thomas' possession. The total amount of money that Thomas received from local businesses was approximately $215. A warrant for theft less than $1500 with two prior convictions, a State Jail Felony, will be sought for Thomas.