Local News

Authorities: Man posed as Duke Hospital fundraiser

Posted May 28, 2008 2:26 p.m. EDT

— Wake County investigators have charged a Wisconsin man with fraud in connection with a scheme that used the Duke Children's Hospital name to obtain money.

Daniel W. Mielcarek, 23, of 9201 Hulda Drive in Sturtevant, Wis., was charged with four counts of obtaining property by false pretense.

Authorities said Mielcarek told people he was a University of North Carolina at Wilmington student who was collecting donations and selling books on behalf of Duke Children's Hospital. The incidents occurred in northwest Wake County on Dutch Creek Drive and Riesling Place in Cary, authorities said.

Investigators said they believe other people are involved in the scam, and they warned residents to be careful about door-to-door solicitations.

"Citizens are the eyes and ears of their neighborhoods," Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said in a statement. "They know who belongs in their neighborhood and who does not. If there is any question about someone selling anything door to door, do not hesitate to ask for documentation and for a contact number to verify their identification."

Anyone who is approached by someone claiming to solicit funds for Duke Children's Hospital is asked to call the Wake County Sheriff's Office at 919-856-6800.