Berkeley County man sentenced for wire fraud involving Hearts2Heros organization
MARTINSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – Christopher T. Engle, of Bunker Hill, West Virginia, was sentenced today to 41 months of incarceration for wire fraud, U.S. Attorney Bill Powell announced.
Engle, age 30, was the co-owner of Hearts2Heros, a for-profit entity that allegedly was meant to support the military by creating and sending care packages to deployed service members. Hearts2Heros employees solicited contributions and misrepresented that the organization was a charity.
Engle pled guilty in February 2020 to a one-count information, charging him with “Wire Fraud.” Engle admitted that he defrauded donors in the Northern District of West Virginia, taking their donations for Hearts2Heros and using it for personal use. The fraud included thousands of donors from West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. The total loss is $286,959.95. Engle was ordered today to pay that amount in full in restitution.
“To steal money from generous and caring people is wrong, but to steal money under the guise of assisting the brave men and women of our military is detrimental to reputable and hard-working charity organizations. I commend the FBI and my staff for their tireless work to ensure that Mr. Engle not only is held accountable, but can no longer prey on the kindness of others,” said Powell.
“Mr. Engle should be ashamed of himself,” said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Michael Christman. “Using our military members as pawns to line your pockets is simply disgusting. The FBI values the work our military members do and will always make sure anyone who has the audacity to take advantage of them for financial gain is brought to justice.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Omps-Botteicher prosecuted the case on behalf of the government. The FBI investigated.
Chief U.S. District Judge Gina M. Groh presided.