STATEN ISLAND — A Staten Island man scammed firefighters by telling them he was raising money for a bone marrow charity but instead using it to buy heroin, prosecutors said.
Jacob Chelsen, 24, was charged with petit larceny and scheming to defraud on Tuesday, according to the Richmond County District Attorney's Office.
Chelsen sold t-shirts to seven firefighters in two station houses on Staten Island, collecting $130, according to court documents.
He told the firefighters that the money was set to go to the "Be the Hero for a Hero" foundation, an organization that raises money for bone marrow drive for a firefighter's son. Instead spent the cash on heroin, a law enforcement source said.
"[He's] not a bad person, just somebody that has an addiction," Chelsen's lawyer, Ronald Castorin, said.
Castorin said he was glad the criminal justice system allowed Chelsen, who plead not guilty, to be able to seek medical help for his drug addiction.
The "Be the Hero for a Hero" charity was started in honor of Chelsen's uncle, Roy Chelsen, who died from cancer he contracted saving lives in 9/11.
Chelsen was released on his own recognize at his arraignment on Thursday and is due back in court on Monday.