FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – A charity that feeds the homeless in Northern Colorado might have been using donations to line the pockets of its employees.
The former owners and operators of the Open Door Mission have been told by the Colorado Attorney General’s Office it has to gift all of its assets, as well as $14,000, to the Denver Rescue Mission.
The Thanksgiving preparations were under way Wednesday at the newly formed Fort Collins Rescue Mission. It will be the first meal served to the homeless community since the Denver Rescue Mission took over the Open Door Mission, which was operated by Full Spirit Ministries.
“We have acquired Open Door Missions,” new director Jim Carmack said.
The change of hands comes after a lengthy investigation by the Colorado Attorney General’s Office into the former operators of the mission, Rev. Richard Thebo, his son Darren Thebo and two board members.
“Full Spirit Ministries was suspected of telling consumers their donations would help the homeless when they were actually being used to pay Rev. Thebo’s personal expenses, including improvements to his personal home,” Attorney General John Suthers said in a statement.
Rev. Thebo denied the charges when CBS4’s Ty Brennan spoke to him on the phone. He said, “Allegations don’t exist.” He declined to speak further about the case.
Carmack says they’ll continue to serve the homeless population of Fort Collins.
“Anything that Rev. Thebo has left to us, we just want to bless him with. We want to find the good in all he’s done in all the years he’s served here; and that’s really what we’re about, we’re going to serve,” Carmack said. “We want to bless him on the way out.”
Rev. Thebo’s attorney told CBS4 his client did nothing wrong. He said Thebo retired and paid the restitution as a way to not go through a lengthy expensive court case and so that there would be no disruption in service to the homeless population in Fort Collins.