Former Sports Anchor Takes the Stand in His Fraud Trial

Former Philly Sports Anchor Don Tollefson took the stand in his fraud trial. 

Tollefson offered his most detailed explanation to date for why he failed to deliver sports-related travel packages he sold in the name of charity.

Tollefson, who is representing himself, told the jury that his charity's financial troubles began in 2012, four years after he lost his job at WTXF Fox Philly.

He said he continued to "spend money like I was making it in salary form" while borrowing cash from his wife to operate his Winning Ways organization, which helps poor children.

In response to the charity's depleting funds, Tollefson said, he tried to raise money by selling more travel packages to the Super Bowl in 2013 than he ever had before.

But the trip was a logistical disaster, he said.

"I just wasn't able to turn it around the way I thought I would have been able to," he said. "I promised people, and I am deeply disappointed in myself as a human being."

Tollefson is accused of selling more than 200 bogus travel packages and pocketing $340,000. Most of Tollefson's testimony Monday focused on his life growing up in San Francisco, his career in broadcasting, and his addiction to alcohol and painkillers.

He plans to offer more of his own testimony Tuesday . Then he will be subjected to cross-examination by Matt Weintraub of the Bucks County district attorney's office.

Monday was the first full day of Tollefson's defense after the prosecution presented its case over four days last week. Tollefson's first witnesses were a grandmother and a golf-tournament organizer, both of whom said Tollefson always put children first.

The trial continues Today. 

H/T Philly Inquirer