|January 31, 2018
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement today announced the arrest of Antonio Colmenares, 57, and Antonio Sabatier, 60, for grand theft of more than $300,000 worth of donated items intended for homeless veterans. The defendants, both of Miami, took advantage of a nonprofit, Florida Veterans Foundation, that offers support to the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs. Colmenares, volunteered as the Miami director for the foundation.
“These donated items should have gone to help feed and warm veterans struggling to get back on their feet—instead they were sold to fatten the pockets of those charged with preying on the good intentions of others,” said Attorney General Bondi. “I want to thank FDLE for their tireless efforts investigating this case and working with my Office of Statewide Prosecution. I also want to commend the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs for immediately contacting law enforcement about the alleged theft so an investigation could be opened.”
In March 2015, FDLE received a complaint from the FDVA alleging a theft of disaster blankets and ready-to-eat emergency meals, provided for an event to benefit homeless veterans in Miami. During the investigation, agents found that both men arranged for the sale of more than 27,000 blankets and 9,700 meals. Rather than using these items to support homeless veterans, the defendants sold these items and deposited more than $46,800 into an account for Nike Management, a company owned by Sabatier. Additionally, the investigation uncovered that other donated items, such as sleeping bags, cots and backpacks, were sold for profit.
Both defendants are charged with first-degree grand theft of more than $300,000. The Inspector General’s Office of the FDVA assisted with this investigation and the Attorney General Office of Statewide Prosecution will prosecute the case.