K9 company in Massachusetts claims K9 company in Chattanooga sto - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

K9 company in Massachusetts claims K9 company in Chattanooga stole their business ID

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Robin Scott is known throughout the Tennessee Valley for her company Invest in K9. She's donated dozens of protective vest to different law enforcement agencies, but now she is being accused by another K9 business of fraud, which has launched a criminal investigation. 

The president of Vested Interest in K9, Inc. recently discovered someone was using her non-profit tax I.D. code in Chattanooga.

Sandy Marcal said she has spent the last two days calling donors to explain how her business is the victim of fraud. “It is misrepresenting. It is not legal to do that. We have a right to notify our donors and sponsors this is happening become someone else is acting as us,” said the President of Vested Interest in K9.

Marcal, who lives in Massachusetts, discovered her tax id number was being used by Invest in K9 in Tennessee when a K9 organization asked to confirm an upcoming event. “When they plugged it in to the IRS website, which is available to check valid nonprofit numbers, they found our number was coming up.”

The IRS issues a unique number per entity they approve. This number allows you to solicit donations through the IRS.

Marcal reported the situation to police, IRS, and more than half a dozen law enforcement agencies in Tennessee Robin Scott has helped raised money for, including the Chattanooga Police Department.

A spokesperson told Channel 3 they learned of the allegations on Tuesday and the department has severed ties with Scott’s business until the situation is resolved. But Robin Scott told Channel 3 it's all a misunderstanding. She said someone hacked her Facebook page and placed Marcal's tax I.D. on her page.

READ MORE | Local woman raising money for bullet-proof K9 vests

“My account got hacked. Things were written and commented on. My business was changed,” said Robin Scott, the founder of Invest in K9s.

She claimed she never registered Invest in K9 with the state or used a tax I.D. number. The IRS website confirms Scott’s business is not registered, leaving Marcal to worry the money donated in Chattanooga may have not gone towards protecting K9s.

“It pains me somebody would want to harm these dogs and destroy the potential on their safety. It's not right.”

Scott has also donated dozens of vests to sheriffs' departments in Walker, Murray and Hamilton Counties. Channel 3 reached out to each of those departments.  An IRS spokesperson would not comment on their investigation or penalties Scott could face.

According to Hamilton County court records, Scott has pleaded guilty to passing worthless checks in the past and is currently on probation for a domestic assault charge.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story.  

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