Prosecutors on Monday charged Travis Singhaus, CEO and founder of the Denver-based Impact Locally nonprofit, with felony fraud and theft, according to the Denver District Attorney’s Office.
Singhaus, 47, faces three counts of charitable fraud, one count of theft, one count of forgery and three counts of criminal impersonation after prosecutors say he stole $349,000 from a Denver philanthropic organization.
The attorney’s office said Singhaus stole the funds by using a local charity’s employer identification number to claim that Impact Locally had 501(c)(3) charitable status. In addition, Singhaus is accused of using other charities’ tax-exempt numbers to avoid paying taxes on purchases.
Singhaus has never registered any of his entities or obtained charitable or tax-exempt status with the Colorado Secretary of State's Office or the Internal Revenue Service, the attorney’s office said.
Impact Locally provides food and clothing to homeless residents in Denver, claiming to have fed 248,800 people and clothed 129,500 people since 2010. Singhaus also ran Impact Humanity, a free clothing store that shut down in November after a series of break-ins.
Prosecutors said Singhaus also set up a GoFundMe campaign to collect donations for Impact Locally and Impact Humanity. GoFundMe has since terminated the donation page.
Singhaus was arrested Sunday night at the Denver International Airport after returning from an overseas trip. He is being held in the Downtown Denver Detention Center without bond, according to jail records.
Singhaus’ first court hearing has not yet been scheduled.
The attorney’s office advised people to check an organization’s state and federal standing before making any donations. Charities, nonprofits and fundraisers are registered at irs.gov and coloradosos.gov.