HARTFORD, Conn. — A Tennessee man was sentenced Friday to three years of probation for defrauding the charity he created to benefit the people of Newtown following the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.
Robert Bruce, of Nashville, must serve the first six months of probation under home confinement. He also was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $28,657, which will go to a Sandy Hook fund administered by the Newtown Board of Selectmen.
Bruce apologized at the hearing in federal court in Hartford, saying he had been struggling with alcoholism.
“I hurt all the people whose help I asked for and I’m very sorry about that,” he said. “I was more than selfish. I was dishonest.”
He pleaded guilty in May to defrauding the charity and acknowledged using money from his 26.4.26 Foundation for personal expenses. The foundation organized marathons in which runners raised money for each of the 26 miles they ran, dedicating each mile to one of the 26 victims of the December 2012 shootings.
Bruce gave $30,000 to a youth sports academy in Newtown, but prosecutors say he stole about $28,000.
Bruce was arrested in February 2015, about a year after authorities were contacted by a co-founder of the charity. She told them Bruce had failed to account for about $73,000 of the $103,000 they had raised.