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'Bikers and Bellydancers' charity ride organizer gets probation for fraud

A Harrisburg woman who pleaded guilty to taking more than $3,700 intended for a cancer charity will serve 36 months on probation and be barred for life from participating in any other fundraisers.

Patricia Giovannini 

Dauphin County Judge John F. Cherry imposed those terms on Patricia Giovannini, 55, after she pleaded guilty this week to violating the state Solicitation of Charitable Funds Act, Deputy District Attorney David Wilson said Friday.

He said Giovannini embezzled donations raised through the Bikers and Bellydancers Ride Against Cancer that she organized in May 2014, Deputy District Attorney David Wilson said Money from the ride was supposed to go the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Instead, Giovannini kept the cash, Wilson said.

He said Giovannini came under scrutiny when a donor became suspicious and contacted the Pennsylvania Department of State. An investigation showed the diversion of funds and also that Giovannini had not registered her organization with the state as required by law, Wilson said.

Cherry ordered Giovannini to make $3,782 in restitution..

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