Darien woman accused of keeping donated funds intended for dog bite victim
A Darien Center woman has been accused of spearheading a fundraising effort in Attica with the goal of raising money for a toddler bitten by a dog and then keeping the money for herself.
Attica PD is asking the public's assistance in determining how much money was raised so that restitution to the boy can be ordered by a court.
Heather M. Rheinheimer, of Alleghany Road, Darien Center, is charged with scheme to defraud, 2nd, and petit larceny.
According to Attica Police Chief Dean Hendershott, Rheinheimer was employed at Meisner's Deli in Attica when she learned that 8-month-old Maverick Brumsted-Shaw, of Varysburg, had been attacked by a dog, so she started at "Tough Like Mav" fundraiser at the deli.
The fund drive, Hendershot said, was billed as an attempt to help with medical expenses from the April 1 incident. She was selling candy bars and other candy to customers under the pretense of raising money for Maverick.
Deli owner Nicholas Campanella supported the effort, including providing financial support.
Once the fund drive was over, Rheinheimer moved on to another job.
Then a member of Maverick's family came into the deli and Campanella expressed his support for Maverick, wished him well, and said he hoped the donated funds were helpful.
Campanella was told the family had not received the funds.
At that point, Campanella contacted Attica PD, which opened an investigation.
Hendershott said the police can still use the public's assistance. He's asking anybody who donated money or bought candy with the intention the money go to Maverick's medical expenses to contact him at (585) 591-0881.
The information will help a court, he said, determine how much restitution Rheinheimer must pay. All restitution funds will go to Maverick's family, he said.
I hope that it's a misunderstanding because that would be very sad.