Tollefson takes the stand again as trial continues

Chad Pradelli Image
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
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Former Philadelphia sportscaster Don Tollefson was back on the stand today in his ongoing theft and fraud trial.

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (WPVI) -- Former Philadelphia sportscaster Don Tollefson was back on the stand Tuesday in his ongoing theft and fraud trial.

He's representing himself against charges he took money but, never delivered travel packages sold to benefit charity.

Tollefson spent much of day calling character witnesses who testified about all the charitable work he has done throughout the years.

But what they could not do was defend him on accusations that he stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from other people.

Tollefson walked into court and once inside took the stand in his own defense.

His testimony was long winded, and at times had at least one juror nearly nodding off.

He testified for nearly an hour about a youth trip he organized to the 2012 summer Olympics in London.

In simple terms, it was a lavish trip that cost roughly $75,000.

Tollefson explains, "You have a large picture of charitable work that I did for these children...and that that that comprised a lot of years and a lot of money."

He says in 2012 he began to run out of money. He calls himself a bad businessman.

But Prosecutors say the roughly 200 victims who were bilked out of $340,000 in bogus sports travel packages would call him a crook.

Bucks County Assistant District Attorney Matt Weintraub says, "It's a classic Ponzi scheme. He's taking from the people that paid him already, and booking trips for people that are ready to go. And the thing's bound to collapse and that's exactly what happened."

Tollefson claims his money troubles began after losing radio and TV jobs, including with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Those opportunities dried up many of his fundraising efforts.

Today the judge allowed subpoenas for several high ranking Eagles officials, including General Manager Howie Roseman, who according to the court is vacationing in Turks and Caicos.

Tollefson says he's calling on Roseman and others, "To testify about what I did with the Eagles, why I was fired by the Eagles, and what I had expected from the Eagles if I had not been fired."

The prosecutor says he expects testimony to wrap up early next week, then it will be in the jury's hands.