Man Whose Autism Charity Check Bounced Ordered to Pay Restitution

A New Haven man accused of issuing a bad check for a wrestling event to benefit autism gets a break from the courtroom.

James Raymond has been granted accelerated rehabilitation, which means the court feels the promoter won't likely commit any additional crimes.

They're sealing his file, in addition to allowing him to do community service and for him to make restitution to the professional wrestling school that bad check went to Autism Services and Resources Connecticut (ASRC) and Raymond said he's going one step further.

"I want to make everything that should've been earned due to my bad budgeting. I’m going to make it right for them," Raymond told NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters. 

Raymond was accepted into a special program for first time offenders at the New Haven court on Wednesday, after admitting he wrote an $1,800 check to Paradise Alley Professional Wrestling (PAPW) last April that bounced.

It was after a well-attended wrestling match with big names from the wrestling industry to benefit autism.

Raymond’s daughter is autistic and he said he wanted to do something special for the community that has helped his family.

But ASRC never saw a cent of the thousands raised from the wrestling benefit.

Raymond previously said he mismanaged the costs, which ultimately ate up all the profits.

The co-director of the ASRC wrote a letter voicing her strong opposition to Raymond being accepted into this program.

"The situation around this check is extremely distressing and asrc strongly urges the judge to not grant accelerated rehabilitation to Mr. Raymond," the co-director said. 

Nevertheless, the judge approved rehabilitation and ordered Raymond to make $125 monthly payments to cover the bad check to PAPW over the next two years.

"Looking for restitution that's all. I feel worse for the asrc even though we had a make-up show and raised $7,850 for them. It would' been nice if they got some money out of this show," PAPW's Mario Mancini said.

Raymond added, "I promise, i promise to everyone that I’m going to do right to them, not one payment will be missed."

PAPW said they'll donate the repayments to ASRC and Raymond told an ASRC rep he also wants to go further by offering additional payments to the charity.

"I’m not gunna say how much, I’m gunna go over some stuff with them and see if they feel that's appropriate," Raymond said. 

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