A local business owner may soon be arrested for allegedly stealing about $5,000 in charitable donations from his dying friend.
Police have been investigating Timothy Nyman, owner of Black Tie Dance Studio on Perkins Avenue, for about a month, Sandusky police Detective Gary Wichman said.
On July 18, family members of Brian Stuckey —who passed away in late December — reached out to investigators, wondering where thousands of dollars raised for Stuckey's medical expenses had gone.
Wichman began investigating and soon learned Nyman, who was a supposed friend of Stuckey and his family, had agreed to organize fundraisers to aid in his battle against multiple sclerosis, Wichman said.
Nyman opened a bank account in March 2012 under the name "Benefit of Brian Stuckey" and proceeded to host three fundraisers.
Two dance fundraisers were held at the then-headquarters of Nyman's studio: one in April 2012 at the Elks Club on Adams Street, and one in July 2013 at the Knights of Columbus on Columbus Avenue.
A third fundraiser was held at The Elite School of Cosmetology in Norwalk, Wichman said.
On that event's Facebook page, the following was posted under Nyman's personal account name:
"For anyone who does not know Brian: He is one of the most amazing people you will ever meet. He has been diagnosed with ALS but is not giving up. He is trying everything he can to wage a battle on his illness (whatever it may be).
As a community anything we can do to stick together and help our locals is a great thing. Hope to see you there."
Between the three events and other donations, Nyman deposited just about $5,000 into the bank account.
Investigators recently obtained a subpoena for bank records, and soon noticed several transfers of cash into Nyman's personal account, Wichman said.
"It appears it was being used for everyday living," Wichman said.
Nyman allegedly made large cash withdrawals of the donated money, totaling about $2,000. He also used the account to finance trips to the gas station, liquor store, restaurants and clothing stores, Wichman said.
The day of Stuckey's death, Black Tie Dance Studio posted "Brian has passed. RIP dear friend." on the business's Facebook page.
About two weeks later, the account had been drained completely and Nyman closed it down, Wichman said.
The detective has made numerous attempts at contacting Nyman, but didn't receive a reply until earlier this week.
Nyman sent Wichman an email, advising that he'd obtained an attorney.
"There's sufficient probable cause to issue warrants," Wichman said Wednesday.
When Nyman is eventually arrested, Wichman said his charges will likely be elevated to a higher degree, due to Stuckey's medical issues.
As of Wednesday night, Nyman had not been located, nor arrested.