When Archie Comics Promoted Charity Fraud

In 1969, ABC News’s 20/20 investigative program exposed a scam from habitual conman, government informant and convicted felon, John Ellsworth and his International Children’s Appeal, linked to the United Nations and coinciding with the International Year of The Child.

Instead, it was a way for Ellsworth to launder drugs and gun money, and a way to gather money against written cheques that would then bounce.

Those conned included then-First Lady Rosalynn Carter, Ted Kennedy, Roosevelt Grier, Jane Russell and Archie Comics’ John Goldwater.

To the extent that Goldwater promoted the charity in the Archie comics.

Ellswater disappeared, but continued his fraudulent activity passing bad cheques. He was eventually jailed again in the eighties, but released in 1992. He died a couple of years later.

Thanks to Magic Whistle.

Bleeding Cool's coverage of San Diego Comic Con 2015 is brought to you by Valiant's BOOK OF DEATH #1 – in stores July 15th. Visit ValiantUniverse.com for more information.

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