MESQUITE, Texas - The students at Wilkinson Middle School in Mesquite were all treated to snow cones Monday for their generous support of a teacher’s aide who lied about having cancer.
Police said 56-year-old Kevin Mabone told his co-workers at the school that he had cancer. Students and staff responded by raising about $1,000 in cash donations from students and $10,000 using GoFundMe. They gave it to him last two weeks ago, along with a donated used car to help him with his transportation needs.
But it turns out, Mabone did not have cancer. The time he claimed to be taking off of work for surgery coincided with the date he was set to be in court in West Virginia to be sentenced on fraud charges. He pleaded guilty in October to stealing government funds in West Virginia and Florida.
Mesquite police said the second he accepted the keys to the car and the cash, he committed a crime.
"At that point he chose not to disclose the fact that it's not all true. He chose to take that money and he chose to take that car," said Lt. Brian Parrish with the Mesquite Police Department.
Mabone is now facing a charge for theft of $2,500 to $30,000 by deception in Dallas County. He’s still in federal custody in West Virginia because his sentencing hearing was postponed to Feb. 13.
Lt. Parrish said police and school administrators wanted to show the students how much everyone admired their giving attitude despite the unfortunate turn of events.
“We want to let the kids know that they should not let one incident stop that wonderful spirit of giving and we appreciate them helping people in our community,” Lt. Parrish said.
Officers were at the school handing out snow cones to students and staff members all morning.