Authorities offer reward in $18K theft from Hunterdon charities

RARITAN TOWNSHIP, N.J. (Hunterdon County) – A reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of a couple who operated a charitable fundraising company and then allegedly stole funds.

A search is underway for Michelle Gaughan, 41, and Philip Gaughan, 36, who were both indicted on November 17 by a Hunterdon County Grand Jury on charges of third degree theft by failure to make required disposition of property received and third degree conspiracy, Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns III said.

In March 2016, DB Charity Fundraising, operated by the couple, were hired by Diamond Nation, of Raritan Township, to raise money for various charities around the area. The events rose over $18,000 that was earmarked for these charities, Kearns said.

The couple gave a check to Diamond Nation for $18,000 but it was later returned by the bank for lack of funds and they have since disappeared, Kearns said.

Diamond Nation used their own funds to make the $18,000 payout to the charities, Kearns said.

“These are appalling crimes that take advantage of the generosity of the citizens and businesses in our community. Crime Stoppers of Hunterdon County is offering a cash reward of $500 for information that leads to the apprehension of Michelle Gaughan and Phillip Gaughan,” Kearns said.

Information can be provided to Crime Stoppers by following the directions below or by contacting the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 788-1129.

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By: Jay Edwards
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