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Judge freezes assets for Christmas Bureau, alleged misuse of donations

Judge freezes assets for Christmas Bureau, alleged misuse of donations

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KVUE -- The Attorney General's Office filed a petition to freeze the assets of the Christmas Bureau and Wednesday a judge issued a temporary restraining order to freeze their funds. That means the Christmas Bureau cannot access any of their funds for two weeks.

This comes about a week after the Attorney General's Office accused the organization of false and misleading acts and misuse of donations. Within the two weeks, the AG's office will have to "follow the money," and determine where it went and how it was being used.

The office said just a few months ago there was an excess of $26,000 in the Christmas Bureau's Pay-Pal account. Now they said there is only $210 in it. There are four bank accounts linked to the Bureau. The AG's office said they believe as quickly as donations came in, they were taken out.

"The sad thing about this is the Christmas Bureau has a long history in Central Texas. They have helped thousands of families through the holidays," spokesperson for the AG's office Jerry Strickland said. "At some point that went wrong. We need to find out when that went wrong and hold those accountable."

The Christmas Bureau, former director Shon Washington, his wife Michelle Washington, and former members Clift Bowman and Cynthia Colpaart are all named as part of the investigation.

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