On June 13, 2014, I was assigned to Detective Unit D4 and working the 800AM-400PM shift. Prior to my shift I had been briefed by the CID commander, Captain James Stanford, Detective Lieutenant Sean Sheehan and Detective Shannon Dottin about a possible fundraising scam being perpetrated by a group of individuals
falsely claiming to be raising money for Somerville Babe Ruth. During this briefing I learned that several businesses in Somerville had been contacted in the days and weeks prior to donate money for this cause. ( , that his organization was NOT conducting any fundraising nor did they authorize any other entity to do so for them.
One of the businesses targeted by this scam was v, Inc. at Broadway, Somerville. I learned that the owner, had been receiving calls, on a daily basis since May 28, from a woman named “maxwell “. “Maxwell” claimed that she represented Somerville Babe Ruth and was asking that v purchase an “Ad Calendar” for $250, the proceeds of which would go to Somerville Babe Ruth. “maxwell” even indicated her son played for Somerville Babe Ruth, which was determined to be a lie. She became suspicious and contacted the SPD CID, which was how we became aware of the scam.
After the briefing, I spoke with v. She told me that she had been told by ” Maxwell” to make the check out to “Babe Ruth League, Inc.” and to put “Somerville Babe Ruth” at the bottom. “Maxwell” then told her that a man named Michael Sevigny would be by to pick up this check on this date, June 13. I advised v to call me when he arrived and delay him until I could get there. At approximately 10:00AM, Michael Sevigny arrived as expected and I, posing as a customer, observed him accept the aforementioned check from v. I waited for Sevigny to exit the business, I identified myself as a Somerville Police detective and immediately read his Miranda warnings to him. He agreed to come back to the police station where he was interviewed.
Next, I contacted the businesses on each envelope to inform them they had been the victim of this scam. First, I spoke with v2 . She said that she had been contacted previously by a female named “maxwell” who claimed to be raising money for Somerville Babe Ruth by selling ad calendars. V2 said she would give them a money order for $300. “maxwell” instructed her to make it payable to “Babe Ruth” and specifically told her to put down “Somerville Babe Ruth” on the order. V2 asked that “maxwell” fax the order form to her, which she did. The order form clearly states “Somerville Babe Ruth” on it. She was then told that Michael Sevigny would come by to pick up the money order on June 13, which he did.
I then spoke with v3. She, too, had been contacted by a woman named “maxwell” who was selling the same ad calendar to raise money for Somerville Babe Ruth. V3 said she give them a check for $100. “maxwell” instructed her to make the check payable to “Babe Ruth” and specifically told her to put down “Somerville Babe Ruth” on the check. She also received an order form clearly stating “Somerville Babe Ruth ” on it. V3 was then told that Michael Sevigny would come by to pick up the check on June 13, which he did.
Lastly, I contacted Malden/Everett Babe Ruth. they told me that Sevigny was only hired to sell these calendars for Malden/Everett Babe Ruth. He said that when Sevigny came back with checks he kept 35% for his organization and gave 65% back to Sevigny. He did not authorize nor did he have any knowledge of Sevigny’s (MJS Promotions) illegal fundraising in Somerville. I informed him that I will be requesting a subpoena for his treasurer’s records as well as his Century Bank account to determine if there are any other checks with “Somerville Babe Ruth” on them.
Based on these aforementioned facts, I submit that there is probable cause to believe that the defendant, Michael Sevigny, committed 3 counts of Larceny by False Pretense in violation of MGL c266 s34 and 1 count of Larceny by Single Scheme in violation of MGL c266 s30.
As of the writing of this report, this investigation is ongoing to determine the extent of this fundraising scam. I have contacted the businesses that were listed on the other envelopes and will be pursuing more criminal complaints shortly. In addition, the Somerville Police Department has issued a press release informing any other Somerville businesses who have made similar donations to Somerville Babe Ruth to contact this reporting detective.