Video Prompts Fraud Investigation Into Daytona Homeless Advocate
Police in Daytona Beach are investigating fraud claims against homeless advocate Mike Pastore following the release of a YouTube video in which at least eight men and women say Pastore has been pocketing donations to his organization, Daytonahomeless.com.
In the video, a man named Jimmy says Pastore runs errands for people and gives them rides, but that he also asks if they get government checks.
“I was approached when I got here, [and asked] if I got a check every month — you know, like a disability or SSI and everything like that. I don’t have anything,” he says. “A few people that I do know of, he is their payee now, and that’s what he tries to do with everybody there.”
Pastore has denied the allegations on the Facebook page for his organization, writing, “People warned me that this was coming. I expected all of the vitriol from the police and the elected leaders. What is disappointing is how some of the homeless who I have helped over the last two years now stab me in the back. Hundreds of dollars out of MY pocket handed out my car window. If someone asked me for something, I usually gave it to them. I will keep doing what I have always done, keep helping them whether I am appreciated or not.”
Pastore has been a visible advocate for the homeless, attending Daytona Beach commission meetings and urging elected officials to convert vacant property into emergency shelter.
In a recent interview with WMFE, Commissioner Pam Woods added that Pastore has insisted that he manage the shelter.
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