Fall in Ruv dog rescue director accused of stealing donations

The operator of a non-profit dog rescue that operated in Montrose faces theft charges for the misuse of solicited charitable donations.
Nicole Covage, 29, of Pocono Summit, operated Fall in Ruv, Inc., a registered non-profit at 505 Lake Ave., Montrose. In addition to the business, she also operated the website, fallinruv.org, and a Facebook page.
After a Susquehanna County resident filed a complaint, the Pennsylvania Dept. of State began a review of the business, noted irregularities and issued a Cease and Desist order to Fall in Ruv to stop soliciting contributions.
An investigator with the Dept. of State contacted the Susquehanna County District Attorney’s office and a joint criminal investigation was initiated.
Covage has been charged with theft by deception and other related offenses. She was arrested without incident and arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey Hollister and released on unsecured bond.
According to the affidavit filed in Montrose District Court, financial records indicate that Covage received nearly $7,600 in donations, deposited only $1,150 into the Fall in Ruv business account and kept about $5,300 for her personal use. The alleged theft of funds occurred between Nov. 8, 2016 and Oct. 1, 2017.
The Dept. of State requested financial records that Covage was required by law to maintain but she failed to comply with that request.
A preliminary hearing on the criminal complaint was scheduled for Jan. 22, 2018 in Montrose District Court.
On Monday, Dec. 18, Robert Sullivan Jr., Covage’s former landlord at the Lake Avenue property filed a $12,000 civil action against her and the not-for-profit in Montrose District Court. That hearing was set for Jan. 18, 2018.
A release issued last week by Susquehanna County District Attorney Robert Klein stated: “Too often, children and the elderly fall victim to these types of scams, either directly or indirectly. During the holiday season it is even more important for all residents to be on guard for scams and those (that) prey upon the good nature of others.”
Anyone who has questions or concerns about a charity is invited to contact DA Klein.
In March, Covage pleaded guilty in Montrose District Court to summary offenses surrounding the kennel operation in Montrose. including operating a kennel without a license; failure to keep kennel in a sanitary and humane condition; application dog license/fees, penalties.

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