Foundation to support Marine killed in Chattanooga accuses another organization of fraud

Authored By chloe.morrison

A foundation created in support of a Marine killed in last year’s shootings announced via Facebook they are disassociating themselves from an organization called Marines & Mickey. 

The Lance Cpl. Skip Wells Foundation started after the July 16 Chattanooga shooting, which left Wells and four others dead. 

The foundation’s leaders said via Facebook that they have doubts about Marines & Mickey founder John Simpson, and they claim they are trying to recover $135,000 in “fraudulent donations.”

Click here for more background about the accusations.

“We are overwhelmed with messages of both support and scrutiny,” organizers said via Facebook after their initial post about the accusations. “We assure everyone that this information was thoroughly vetted through official contacts before we confronted John Simpson.”

Simpson said he is looking into taking legal action against those involved with the foundation. 

“We are seeking legal advice to have individuals from the Lance Skip Wells Foundation charged with blackmail and extortion,” he said via email. “[We are also seeking] several lawsuits for defamation, slander and harassment on myself as an individual, my team members as individuals and our organization as a whole.”

He also noted positive things his organization has done in its less than two years in operation. 

“In the midst of all of this, we are still sending a family this week to Disney,” he said. 

Leaders of the Wells Foundation couldn’t immediately be reached Monday. 

On July 16, Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez attacked two Chattanooga locations in what authorities called a “terrorist-inspired” plot. 

Five people died in the shootings: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith and Marines Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, Lance Cpl. Squire “Skip” Wells, Sgt. Carson Holmquist and Staff Sgt. David Wyatt.