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Convicted scammer allegedly targets non-profit organizations

Posted at 7:24 PM, Feb 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-11 20:24:49-05

PORTLAND, Texas — A paper trail, or lack there of, has connected three people who believe they've been scammed out of thousands of dollars.

Rosie Davis hired Danna McKellar Ntaka to help her start a non-profit organization. Davis' mother died from complications of COVID-19 in May 2020. She wanted to start the Yellow Heart Memorial, a service creating memorials across the country, so those who died of COVID-19 aren't forgotten.

Davis met Ntaka several times in-person, and told her she filed the proper paperwork with the IRS to get the organization's identification number back in July 2021. Ntaka was paid $1,700 to start out. As of Friday, Davis has not received any confirmation from Ntaka or the IRS.

“So, I told her," said Davis. "I said 'listen, I just got off the phone with the IRS and the IRS said they have absolutely nothing on me.' I said, and 'I'm very upset'. And I go, 'what is going on?'"

Davis said Ntaka gave excuse after excuse on why she couldn't give confirmation to Davis. First it was because the IRS was backed up with six million requests. Then it was that the confirmation was buried in 3,000 emails. Then it was that she might have filed the organization under a different name.

“I talked to another friend of mine that had filed after me and already got her number back," said Davis. "And she was like, 'that’s really weird.'"

Before any red flags appeared, Davis suggested Ntaka to Valerie Villegas. She was just starting a non-profit herself, in honor of her late husband. The Robert Villegas Foundation was created to help underprivileged mixed martial arts students in the Coastal Bend. Robert Villegas was one of the most accomplished mixed martial artists in the area.

"She was very well spoken," said Villegas. "Appeared to know, business wise, what she was talking about. So I said, 'well lets give this a try.'"

Then Villegas started experiencing what Davis had gone through. Ntaka was sparingly communicating and stalling on why there was no confirmation for the forms submitted to the IRS. Ntaka told Villegas it was filed in Sept. 2021, but Villegas said when she did finally see the forms, something looked off.

“Actually, the records that she sent me were manually altered, the submission date," Villegas claims. "So the submission date I see on the paperwork she gave me is different than what the IRS has.”

Villegas said she had to aggressively press Ntaka, who's based in Tyler, TX, to hand over the documents. Villegas paid Ntaka $2,000. Villegas said she probably lost more taking Ntaka's advice on things she should do for the organization that didn't help.

"One day I was just looking on the internet because I said, 'let me just look this lady up again,'" said Villegas. "Because I know she altered this paperwork and it just blew my mind. And, she was actually a felon from the Pennsylvania area for scams."

KZTV can confirm Ntaka was convicted for scam related crimes in Pennsylvania between 2014 and 2016.

At least one scam included Ntaka renting a home, passing it off as her own and renting it out to collect thousands of dollars in rent and security deposits.

Villegas was told Ntaka is working in the medical field with pregnant woman, but she became skeptical of this, being a nurse herself.

According to Texas state sites for medical licenses and nurse's licenses, Ntaka is not listed.

Villegas said unfortunately for her, she recommended Ntaka to a friend starting a congressional campaign, before any red flags came up. She said he lost $15,000 when Ntaka was hired to kick-start the campaign.

Ntaka's profile's indicate she is a maternal/fetal researcher and founder of Campus of Care. An error message appears when trying to visit her website.

Villegas has filed a complaint with Portland Police, but has yet to get an update on the investigation. Davis has not filled anything with law enforcement as of Friday.

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