26.4.26 founder says he will cooperate with authorities - WKRN News 2

26.4.26 founder says he will cooperate with authorities


The founder of an organization started in the wake of the shooting tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut says he will cooperate fully with authorities investigating claims that he misappropriated $70,000 meant for the victims.

News 2 has tried for weeks to reach Robbie Bruce following a formal complaint that alleges he only donated $30,000 of more than $100,000 raised for the Newtown families.

In a statement released through his attorney Jonathan Farmer late Friday, Bruce said, "We will cooperate fully with the inquires made by the state of Tennessee and look forward to the opportunity to do so. For the immediate future all of our communications will be with the appropriate state agencies."

Bruce and his 26.4.26 Foundation raised money for the victims of the Newtown shooting through a run in Nashville in December 2012.

Their movement grew and, according to Ryan Graney, a former board member for the foundation, they raised more than $103,000.

Graney filed a formal complaint with the Tennessee attorney general's office in June after she said she found questionable purchases made by Bruce.

Graney pointed to a $1,200 purchase of a paddle board, she said was for Bruce's personal use. She also highlighted a $3,200 purchase to X3 Endurance.

News 2 was able to verify through an invoice obtained from X3 Endurance that the purchase was for t-shirts created for a 26.4.26 run in Gilford, New Hampshire. News 2 verified with volunteers in Gilford that the t-shirts were delivered.

Graney said she shut down the foundation's Web site when she uncovered the questionable purchases and Bruce would not allow access to the bank accounts.

Authorities in Connecticut and the IRS are now also investigating Bruce and his foundation.

Bruce's attorney would not comment further about the allegations when reached by phone.

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