The former leader of a Savannah-area nonprofit recent was arrested, and he is accused of using the charity’s funds for personal expenses.
Shane Shifflett, a Fort Stewart firefighter, is the former president of the Guardians of the Ribbon Southeast Georgia Chapter. Port Wentworth Police arrested him Thursday evening and charged him with financial transaction card fraud.
Most people have seen the iconic pink fire trucks and police cruisers at events around Liberty County and the Coastal Empire. The Southeast Georgia Guardians of the Ribbon use the vehicles to pay tribute to women with cancer and inspire others to help with the fight.
But according to a Port Wentworth Police report, the group’s board members believe former president Shifflett was using the charity’s funds to pay personal expenses.
“Investigators met with them, started assisting them by gathering some documentation, and were able to determine that at least one count of financial transaction card fraud had occurred,” Port Wentworth Public Safety Chief Matt Libby said.
Investigators executed a search warrant at Shifflett’s home Thursday, coming away with several boxes of evidence. With so many documents, police said they are asking for outside help.
“If there’s wrongdoing, if it occurred in our jurisdiction, we’re going to do what we need to do and assist anybody else. We’re going to have to reach out,” Libby said.
Later Thursday night, the group’s board met with volunteers in Garden City to address the situation and appoint a new president.
“If one of us screws up, we let a lot of people down. So it’s great that our organization itself did its own internal investigation and helped,” said
Dave Graybill, founder of the Pink Heals Tour - Guardians of the Ribbon.
Graybill wants the public to know the chapter still is alive and dedicated to its mission.
“We work for the community. It’s free. So the community, if they have questions, you have to answer them. You can’t hide anything,” he said.
Nationally, money collected by Guardians of the Ribbon chapters through merchandise sales or donations is used to maintain the pink fire trucks and police cars. The goal of the Pink Heals Tour is to help other organizations raise money for their community.