Is this Vincent Squire’s “Season of Giving” or is there more to it? Updated 12/1/18

Failed and disgraced 2018 Camden County Freeholder candidate and 2017 Pennsauken Township Committee candidate Vincent Squire is a convicted Felon with multiple convictions for Theft by Deception and a conviction for Burglary.  He is currently facing Second Degree Felony Assault (for beating his son in the Summer of 2017) and Harassment charges.  I’ve heard (I’ve not read the complaint) that he’s facing Criminal Trespass charges.  He threatened this blogger for attempting to interview him.  He filed frivolous criminal charges against this blogger in an attempt to shut down this blog (he said so on video).   His family home is awaiting Sheriff Sale due to foreclosure.  At one point his family home owed over $1 million in fines and penalties to Pennsauken Township (I’ve not verified that the fines continue to be outstanding since early 2018).   The Camden County GOP when announcing they had disavowed him indicated he had accepted at least one unreported cash donation.  He has failed to file required financial disclosures with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.  His behavior can only be described as puzzling.  Squire is not only a man with a checkered past but a man with a checkered present.  Why then are seemingly reputable organizations hosting and participating in a charitable event with him?  Especially after he turned his “food drive” for the South Jersey Food bank into a thinly veiled political stunt.  Or are they?

 

Squire Hunger 2

Squire recently posted on his Facebook page that he is the sponsor of “The Season of Giving” at the Cherry Hill Mall.  He indicates that “This year’s featured charitable organizations include Camden County Rescue MissionBurlington Coat FactorySouth Jersey Food Bank“.  His announcement says entertainment will be provided by choirs performing Christmas carols, Cherry Hill School of Rock, Recording Artist Patricia Hawthone  the Eagles mascot and Michael Jackson impersonator Buddy Katz.

Squire Season of Giving

When reading Squire’s announcement I immediately became concerned.  Did these organizations know they are partnering with a man with multiple theft by deception convictions, a burglary conviction and demonstrated financial irresponsibility for a charity event?  Worse yet would children be in attendance in this event?  I fear for parents unknowingly bringing their children to an event sponsored by a man who is facing Felony assault charges for beating his own child and threatened this  blogger on video.

I felt for the good of the community and the organizations involved I needed to make them aware of the man they had partnered with.  I sent the following email to representatives of the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (owner of Cherry Hill Mall), the Camden Rescue Mission, the Food Bank of South Jersey Cherry Hill School of Rock and Burlington Coat Factory.  I could not find the correct contact at the Philadelphia Eagles in time to purplish this story.

From: Mike Astringer
Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2018 6:34 AM
To: XXXXXX@XXXXXX.om
Subject: Seeking comment on the December 2, 2018 event at Cherry Hill Mall

Good morning,

My name is Mike Astringer and I run a popular and growing South Jersey blog called Positively Pennsauken (www.positivelypennsauken.com).  I write on a variety of topics relating to Pennsauken, Camden County and New Jersey politics.  Several of my blog posts have been picked up by larger outlets and shared on social media thousands of times.

I am writing today because I’ve become aware of an event being hosted by Vincent Squire on December 2, 2018 at Cherry Hill Mall.  My understanding from a social media post from Squire is that this event will include the Camden Rescue Mission, Burlington Coat Factory, South Jersey Food Bank and entertainment by the Cherry Hill School of Rock and the Philadelphia Eagles mascot.

I am deeply concerned about this event.  First as you may not be aware Vincent Squire is a convicted felon with three convictions for Theft by Deception and one conviction for Burglary.  In addition he is currently facing Second Degree Felony Assault charges for beating his son in the Summer of 2017 and Harassment charges.  I also understand that he is currently facing Criminal Trespass charges.  In addition his family home is facing Sheriff Sale due to foreclosure and has owed over $1 million in fines and penalties to Pennsauken Township.  As you’ll see in this YouTube video Squire threatened me as a voter and blogger for attempting to interview him https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceZc2Hart0E.

While running for Camden County Freeholder this year Squire was disavowed by the Camden County GOP (see their press release here https://positivelypennsauken592167491.wordpress.com/2018/08/28/press-release-from-the-camden-county-gop-disavowing-themselves-from-freeholder-candidate-vincent-squire/#more-229) for lying about his criminal past, pending charges and suspicion that he accepted unreported cash donations to his campaign.    He also failed to file required financial disclosures to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.

I find it concerning that legitimate organizations have partnered with a man who has a criminal record that includes multiple counts of Theft by Deception, has displayed financial irresponsibility and worst of all (considering children may be in attendance) is facing Felony charges for beating his child as well as harassment.

I will be writing a story today that will be posted on my blog and distributed locally in South Jersey via social media and shared with other online, broadcast and media outlets.  I’d like to give your organization the opportunity to comment for my story before it is published.  I believe that others who are or become aware of Squire’s checkered past, pending criminal charges, threatening behavior and demonstrated financial irresponsibility will find it equally concerning that your organization is partnering with Squire for this event.

I appreciate any comment your organization is willing to make on this matter.  I plan to publish my story at 4:00 today.

Thank you very much for your consideration.

Mike Astringer

A representative of the Food Bank of South Jersey contacted me and indicated she could not comment at this time but would get back in touch with me.  A Burlington Coat Factory representative contacted me by email stating “Burlington is not a sponsor of this event, nor do we have a partnership with Vincent.  We are holding our annual coat drive in our store and Vincent said he would have our flyers on hand to let consumers know to come in to Burlington to donate a coat”.  An executive at the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust left me a voice mail this evening letting me know that she is unaware of Squire’s event but would look into it and get back to me.  I will update the story when I hear back from her.  I did not hear back from the Camden Rescue Mission or Cherry Hill School of Rock.

The conversation I had, email I received and voice mail I received make me wonder if this is a Squire scam.  Is he really sponsoring an event for these organizations or simply using their names without their knowledge and permission?  Given the $400,000 GoFundMe scam in Philadelphia this year I would think that individuals and organizations would be very careful with the way they organize and present charitable events to the public.  Especially someone with prior convictions for Theft by Deception.  Maybe not.

People have been sending me videos and social media posts made by Squire in recent weeks.  After he lost the 2017 election he quietly went away until he came back campaigning for the 2018 election.  This year he hasn’t stopped.  I wondered a loud a few times if someone needed to tell Squire the election is over, he lost and he can stop campaigning now.   I’ve recently developed another theory.  I have no evidence this is true but simply a hypothesis.  Could it be possible that Squire facing multiple trials (the most serious being his Second Degree Assault charges for beating his son) he is trying to portray himself as community minded, an asset to the community and make a case to lessen any potential jail sentence?  As I’ve said before when I hear about most people doing something for the community I am thankful for their selflessness.  When I hear Vincent Squire is doing something for the community my first question is what’s in it for him.  The word “deception” is in his convictions for a reason.

I am all about giving.  My family and I have been blessed and I give back.  I have volunteered countless hours to non-profits and served on many boards of directors and committees over the past 20-years.  I encourage you to give to the South Jersey Food Bank, Burlington Coat Factory’s coat drive and the Camden County Rescue Mission among many other worthy charitable organizations.  I suggest you avoid intermediaries like Squire and donate directly to the source.  I personally will be making a donation to each of these organizations this holiday season.

*UPDATE* On Thursday 11/29/18 I received a follow up email from an executive at the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (owner of Cherry Hill Mall) stating “The event you’re referring to is not occurring. We don’t wish to comment any further..”

*UPDATE* On Saturday 12/1/18 Squire put out a video saying that his event had moved to the Holiday Inn in Cherry Hill (after leadership at the parent company for Cherry Hill mall declined to allow him to have his event there).  While he mentions some new charities he continues to include Burlington Coat Factory who has denied partnering with him or authorizing him to collect coats for them and the South Jersey Food Bank.  I spoke to a representative of South Jersey Food Bank on Wednesday who asked that I not quote her but said that Squire was not collecting donations with their permission or authorization to use their name.

I contacted the Holiday Inn in Cherry Hill to get a statement from the General Manager.  After identifying myself and the reason for my call someone who claimed to be the Front Office Manager refused to identify himself or put me through to the General Manager and hung up on me.

I continue to question the validity of this event.  The organizations I was able to reach for comment deny that Squire is doing this event as a partner to them or with their authorization.  I continue to warn that if you want to support these organizations support them directly.

Squire Face