Grand Forks man charged with running illegal Facebook raffle

·1 min read

Jul. 29—A Grand Forks man has been charged with running a Facebook scam that earned him at least several hundred dollars, if not more.

Ronnie Steven Marion, 40, made his initial appearance in court this week on charges of fraudulent scheme or technique to cheat or skim over $500.

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According to court documents, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety was alerted to a potentially illegal Facebook scam on Sept. 4, 2020.

The reporting party told investigators that Marion held a raffle for a 2013 Dodge Challenger three separate times in a private Facebook group, and charged $10 to be entered into the raffle. Each time, Marion claimed the drawing was "screwed up" and never awarded the prize, documents state.

When questioned by investigators, Marion said the man running the selection "screwed up," making the raffle null and void. He also said he knew the raffle was illegal, according to court documents.

A search of Marion's PayPal account showed 766 transactions between Aug. 22 and Sept. 13, 2020, all in increments of $10, ranging from $10 to $700. The affidavit does not specify the sum of the transactions.

Marion also asked the Facebook group to give him until Sept. 21 to give refunds, but the affidavit does not make clear whether any of the money was refunded.

If convicted, Marion could face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He is next scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on Aug. 30.

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