Man Collects $200,000 In Box Tops To Raise Money For Schools, But Did He Cheat?

Scott is just one of many brands participating in the Box Tops for Education program.

Scott is just one of many brands participating in the Box Tops for Education program.

Where do you draw the line between being industrious and being a cheat? That’s the question the folks at Scott are working through after a Brooklyn man, attempting to get the most out of a school fundraising promotion, submitted around $200,000 worth of box tops to the company.

At the heart of that question is just how much help the man received from a local wholesaler who was able to supply several thousand of those Box Tops for Education coupons — worth up to $.50 each for the school of the donor’s choice.

“I feel this is a just cause. Everything was done by the book. There was no monkey business,” the man tells the NY Daily News. “We had a team of parents helping. I created a network. People were excited. We were working hard thinking we would get this big donation.”

He also claims that he only sent in around 75,000 box tops, a significantly smaller number than the 300,000 Scott says it counted.

The man, who was trying to raise funds for four private Jewish schools in the area, says that he located the wholesaler, who then provided him with any unused wrappings that contained the Box Top coupon.

“He buys truckloads and repackages them,” says the man. “He supplies the bodegas and throws out all the packaging.”

When Scott received the garbage bags full of coupons last year, it began investigating.

“We had such an extraordinarily high number of coupons redeemed by one person,” says a Scott rep, adding that the company has hired a private investigator to research the matter. “We still need to figure out if the coupons were gathered appropriately.

Until we are comfortable with verifying how this was obtained we are not in a position to pay.”

The wholesaler who provided the coupons for the fundraiser fears that if he outs himself to Scott, the company could drop him as a customer, hurting his business.

“I was trying to do this as a charity,” he explains. “Once they sell me the product, we can do whatever we want with it.”

The Daily News spoke to the rabbis of two of the schools that would receive funds from the collected coupons, and they appear to be divided in their view of this issue. One called it an “illegal campaign” while the other says, “more power to him. He did it trying to help the school.”

Thanks to Dov for the tip!