The Investigators

Dec 19, 2013 12:12 AM by Matthew Schwartz

County attorney scrutinizes Vail food bank CEO

TUCSON - We found Anthony Bustamante in a park in October. Now apparently the Pima County Attorney would like to find him.

A source tells the News 4 Tucson Investigators the office has launched an investigation into whether Bustamante spent money that was donated to his now closed Vail Community Food bank for personal expenses. Former food bank board member Tiffany Harris said she received a call Tuesday night (Dec. 17) from a detective with the County Attorney's office, who told her, "They are investigating (Bustamante) for fraud and are going after him for prosecution."

The County Attorney's office doesn't comment on any current investigations. As the News 4 Tucson Investigators reported last month, numerous food bank volunteers, board members and donors told us that Bustamante used the food bank's debit card to buy things for himself.

Former food bank volunteer Tammi Coles said, "He made himself out to be this savior, that he was doing God's work. And he turned himself into the devil."

We obtained bank statements from the food bank's checking account. Among the transactions: $627 for Colorado River Adventures, $249 to T-Mobile, and $100 for Vail Vikings Youth Football.

The News 4 Tucson Investigators asked Bustamante, "Where did this money come from that you purchased the river adventure trip, textbooks, numerous Starbucks, Circle K's and ATM withdrawals on the food bank's debit card?" He replied, "All the money that came from me, I sold the stuff from my house cause I'm moving. So what I did was I used this ‘cause I didn't have another card, another credit card or anything, so I used this to make the transactions because these people don't take cash."

We're not sure which of the merchants he's referring to do not take cash.

Bustamante walked away from the News 4 Tucson Investigators. But he may soon face questions from investigators with the County Attorney's office.

Tiffany Harris says the detective who called her told her he saw the News 4 Tucson Investigators report last month on Bustamante.

Harris said, "I'm actually happy that they're following through and that they've seen it and I thank you guys for taking the story, because without you guys it wouldn't have been aired for them (investigators) to find out."

Sources have told us that Bustamante went to San Luis Obispo, Ca., around the time
our first report aired, but don't know where he is now.

Remember if you have a story you'd like us to investigate, email us at investigators@kvoa.com. Or call our tipline, (520) 955-4444.

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