Shen Warns Community of Cheer Scam After Many Were Cheated
On Wednesday, the Shenendehowa Central School District was tasked with putting out a fire that they say they didn't start, or have any prior knowledge about.
Shen school officials sent out memos to the community alerting parents and local business owners of a scam making its way through Clifton Park that centers around the cheerleading team.
In a message on their website, here's what they told residents of the large Shen community:
"The Shenendehowa Central School District is issuing a warning to our Shen community surrounding fraudulent phone and email outreach from Elite Sports Promo to local businesses soliciting donations on behalf of our Cheerleading team. We ask that everyone please be aware that this is a scam. Do not fall prey to these illegal solicitations by giving out any information. The Saratoga County Sheriff’s office has been notified of this activity."
But it appears that to some degree, the damage has already been done.
The Times Union is reporting that as many as ten local businesses thought that the "scam' was legit. According to the TU, the "company sent out emails pretending to represent Shenendehowa Central School District and collected more than $7,000."
But according to a report in the Times Union, a man who they say goes by the name of James Stevens from Elite Sports was given permission by a member of the Shen athletic department to sell the sponsorships. In the report, Stevens claims that "the cheerleading coach had signed a one-page contract allowing them to sell ads in exchange for giving the cheerleaders the shirts."
In an attempt to prove legitimacy, the Times Union pressed Elite Sports for a copy of the contract but, Stevens told them he was unable to do so without an attorney's approval. In addition, Stevens told the Times Union he "could not show the signature line of the contract or read off the name of the person who had signed it."