MADISON (WKOW) -- The state Department of Justice is warning the public the possibility of fraud associated with fundraising activities for the Argyle fire victims.
Three young boys -- Allen, Jeffrey and Joseph Wand -- died in the September 7 fire, while their mother, Sharon Wand, was severely injured. Sharon's 2-year-old daughter, Jessica, also survived the fire.
The DOJ says Leesa Bobak, Sharon Wand's aunt, issued this statement :
"The family of Sharon and Jessica Wand is grateful to all of those who have shown their support during this difficult time. If anyone wishes to make a donation, we would ask that they donate to the Wand Children Benefit Fund, c/o Talmer Bank & Trust, 101 7 1/2 St., Monroe, WI 53566. The Wand Children Benefit Fund is not collecting money over the Internet, door-to-door, or through other direct solicitations. Donation canisters specifically mentioning the Wand Children Benefit Fund were used briefly by the Fund, but have been discontinued to avoid confusion, and are no longer in use. At this point, we cannot guarantee that donations though any source other than the Wand Children Benefit Fund will go to meet the needs of Sharon and Jessica."
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says, "When tragedy occurs, well-meaning people want to help. Unfortunately, others know this and will sometimes try to exploit their generosity. People who want to help should make sure that they know where their money is going and that it will help the people they want to help. Donating money to a fund held by a bank can help ensure that the funds will be used for their proper purpose."
Sharon's husband, Armin Wand, and Armin's brother, Jeremy Wand, have been charged with arson and homicide. Both men are charged with three counts of homicide, two counts of attempted homicide and one count of arson. Armin also has an additional count of attempted homicide.
If you'd like to donate to the Wand Children Benefit fund, mail checks to:Talmer Bank & TrustWand Children Benefit101 7 1/2 StreetMonroe, WI 53566