Con woman leaves jail, scams Athens area churches

  • Follow Latest News

WINDER, Ga. -- A Decatur, Ga.,  woman who had just gotten out of jail for a Toys for Tots scam was back behind bars less than a week later, accused of conning at least three churches with fake hard-luck stories.

Marsha Lynn Foster, who spent almost a year in the Barrow County Jail, was locked up again Tuesday on charges of running a new scam, Winder police said.

Foster, 48, was arrested last November for fraudulently soliciting Toys for Tots donations and didn't get out of jail until Sept. 29.

She immediately booked a room in a Winder hotel and called more than 115 churches, allegedly telling false hard-luck stories and looking for money to help "turn her life around," said Sgt. Rachel Love, a Winder police detective.

Police caught up with Foster at the hotel about 6 p.m. Tuesday and arrested her on a probation violation warrant and three theft by deception charges, Love said.

Investigators determined that Foster got money from at least three churches, two in Barrow County and one in Jackson County, but they believe that more churches were conned, Love said.

"It's not illegal for them to give - or to need help - but it is illegal for her to lie, to go about it in such a deceptive way," Love said. "That is illegal."

Winder police first arrested Foster on Nov. 23 last year, after she used the business card of an event manager at a Stars and Strikes bowling alley to talk local business owners into giving her donations for the area Toys for Tot's toy drive. She told some victims that they would be featured on two Atlanta radio stations for donating.

Foster extracted about $200 from three businesses before police uncovered the scam and arrested her on four counts of misdemeanor theft by taking and three counts felony financial identify theft, for posing as the event manager.

She was jailed until Sept. 29, when a judge dropped the felony charges, gave her credit for time served and put her on probation for a year, Love said.

Foster left the Barrow County Detention Center that day, walked to the Best Western Hotel at 177 W. Athens St., booked a room and started calling churches, according to Love.

"Most hotel rooms have a phone book. She opened it to the Yellow Pages and just started calling churches," said Love, who counted about 115 churches that Foster had called.

"That number is just based on the lines that were drawn through the names and stars she put beside some of the names," Love said. "She seems to have a code she used and would make notes about how many messages that she had left at each church."

She left as many as six messages at some churches.

Love now is calling those churches to see how many bought Foster's stories - and how much she netted. Love knows she raised at least enough money to pay for the $92-a-night hotel room for a week.

"(The spiel) was different for everyone, but she was always honest in the fact that (she told them that) she had just been released from jail," Love said. "She told them that she needed a hotel room paid for through the weekend because she's trying to turn her life around."

Foster told variations on a story that she would start a job Monday and needed someplace to stay until then, and would ask for money and gift cards to get her through until her first paycheck, Love said.

A different investigation led Love to Foster, she said.

"She was described to me (by someone close to her) as a hustler - that's what she knows and that's what she does," Love said. "And I'm not going to allow it to happen here. We're just not going to tolerate it."

Comments (22)

Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
workingirl32
0
Points
workingirl32 10/07/10 - 12:10 pm
0
0

She deserves death penalty.

She deserves death penalty.

Farmboy
776
Points
Farmboy 10/07/10 - 12:21 pm
0
0

Life is alot less difficult

Life is alot less difficult when you play by the rules. It takes alot of effort to get into trouble.

follower
47
Points
follower 10/07/10 - 12:38 pm
0
0

If only they would work as

If only they would work as hard honestly as they do constructing the scam. She must have missed the rehabilitation classes.

iletuknow
7
Points
iletuknow 10/07/10 - 12:40 pm
0
0

A con artist cons another.

A con artist cons another.

dani
12
Points
dani 10/07/10 - 01:11 pm
0
0

This is not funny .

This is not funny .

crackerjack
135
Points
crackerjack 10/07/10 - 01:29 pm
0
0

She should run for Governor.

She should run for Governor. Or better yet, President.

Chillen
16
Points
Chillen 10/07/10 - 01:31 pm
0
0

Some people are just beyond

Some people are just beyond help. There's a very special place waiting for her when her life is finished.

Rolling Eyes
236
Points
Rolling Eyes 10/07/10 - 01:36 pm
0
0

LOL Crackerjack! She does

LOL Crackerjack! She does have all the hallmarks of making a great politician.

burninater
6801
Points
burninater 10/07/10 - 02:56 pm
0
0

We don't have severe

We don't have severe penalties for economic crimes, because the laws are written by and for those that would be most severely impacted by them.

Now if she had been caught with a crack rock in her pocket, perhaps she'd have had a serious sentence.

Indigo
4
Points
Indigo 10/07/10 - 04:56 pm
0
0

These people are

These people are pathological, you will never cure her.

mable8
2
Points
mable8 10/07/10 - 05:58 pm
0
0

workinggirl32: "She deserves

workinggirl32: "She deserves the death penalty." Why? Do you really want us to revert back to that barbaric form of justice and are you that interested in watching someone be put to death under those rules? Shame on you for your total lack of human compassion. Perhaps the lady needs to be in jail for at least a year so that there is some assurance that she will receive the counseling she apparently needs. Maybe she is a hopeless con artist, but it certainly isn't a death penalty case.

ispy4u
0
Points
ispy4u 10/07/10 - 06:07 pm
0
0

CRACKERJACK, You are right.

CRACKERJACK, You are right. She can represent the TEA PARTY.

rmwhitley
5081
Points
rmwhitley 10/07/10 - 06:29 pm
0
0

Praise the Lord and pass the

Unpublished

Praise the Lord and pass the offering plate. The libs point of view.

KSL
105759
Points
KSL 10/07/10 - 06:51 pm
0
0

I usually agree with you

I usually agree with you mable8, but I'm in no mood to put up with the likes of her now. She needs much severer punishment.

KSL
105759
Points
KSL 10/07/10 - 06:51 pm
0
0

ispy, that was an inane

ispy, that was an inane comment.

EVELYN HUTCHINSON
0
Points
EVELYN HUTCHINSON 10/07/10 - 07:43 pm
0
0

Might need to know more about

Might need to know more about her circumstances before you judge....what kind of education does she have, what about her upbringing? I know people who were brought up on the credo that the world owed them something and they should just be able to take it. When that is all you know, that is what you do. And, even if she has a good education and work skills, she certainly has problems, but since murderers, rapists and child abusers go free, why worry about con artists?

Fiat_Lux
13863
Points
Fiat_Lux 10/07/10 - 07:47 pm
0
0

Eve, you're kidding, right?

Eve, you're kidding, right?

Do you vote?

KSL
105759
Points
KSL 10/07/10 - 08:00 pm
0
0

Never blame the perp. It's

Never blame the perp. It's the victim's fault.

KSL
105759
Points
KSL 10/07/10 - 08:02 pm
0
0

You may be brought up one

You may be brought up one way, but there are certainly enough good influences out there for one to pick and choose what is right, that is, if they are so inclined.

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 10/07/10 - 10:13 pm
0
0

Mable, she already did a year

Mable, she already did a year in jail and less than a week later, she was doing it again. Bleeding hearts have to realize when enough is enough. Didn't you read the article?

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 10/07/10 - 10:16 pm
0
0

Eve, you are kidding right?

Eve, you are kidding right? Another bleeding heart. So if you are brought up around women being beat, you should get a free pass when you grow up and do it, your dad was a bank robber, so you get a free pass when you are an adult and do it, all you know is being molested by a family member so when you rape small children over and over for years you should get a free pass because its all you know? Are you serious? Wait, of course you are, bleeding hearts never make any sense. Why worry about a con artist? Spoken like a con artist or family member of one, or maybe just someone with the same entitlement mentality. Would you honestly let a con artist slide by if they ripped you off, even if it was your life savings? Or they did it to your underage children and conned them out of their phone, i pod and every thing else. you would just have love in your heart and be happy about it? Geesh, no wonder this country is going downhill so fast. Unbelievable!!!! Bleeding hearts really don't know the line between compassion and common sense do they?

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 10/07/10 - 10:19 pm
0
0

KSL @ 6:51, isn't that the

KSL @ 6:51, isn't that the norm? A little hypocritical too since undies get all in a wad when its done in the reverse. lol

soldout
1280
Points
soldout 10/07/10 - 10:34 pm
0
0

She need to go into politics

She need to go into politics or advertising and get some use out of her skills.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Georgia grants veterans option for driver's license

Thanks to a change at the Georgia Department of Driver Services, veterans no longer have to carry around bulky forms to prove they were in the military.
Loading...