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POSTAL INSPECTORS WARN OF UNAUTHORIZED SOLICITATIONS

 OLNEY, Md., March 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Postal inspectors warn the name of a young Olney woman who was critically injured in a car accident was recently used to make unauthorized solicitations for charitable contributions.
 Vicky Popdan, 18, was paralyzed in a car accident in May 1991. Fliers distributed by hand in a retirement village in Gaithersburg, Md., asked that cash contributions for Vicky be sent to a P.O. Box in Olney. Charles Lamb, a security official at the Asbury Methodist Retirement Village, discovered the fliers and contacted Postal Inspectors, expressing concern as to the legitimacy of the solicitation.
 Ida Gillis, postal inspector in charge, Washington division, said, "It is possible that the individual involved intended to pass along the collected contributions to the Popdan family. But because the solicitations involved the use of Vicky's name without permission, postal inspectors initiated a mail fraud investigation." Postal inspectors have shut down the operation, and all contributions received at the post office box will be returned to sender.
 Since the accident, members of the community have rallied to support the Popdan family. A trust fund was established following the accident and continues to receive contributions at:
 -- The Vicky Popdan Trust Fund
 Sandy Spring Bank
 17801 Georgia Ave.
 Olney, Md. 20832
 Tom Cioffi, trustee of the fund, advised that no other address has been authorized for soliciting contributions for the Popdan family.
 -0- 3/22/93
 /CONTACT: Karen Luehrs, postal inspector, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, 202-636-2349/


CO: U.S. Postal Inspection Service ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:

IH-MH -- DC018 -- 8321 03/22/93 15:17 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 22, 1993
Words:264
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