DERL L. SHARP, d/o/b 11-14-1958, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Thursday, April 11, 2013, to three (3) years in prison for the class D felony of unlawful merchandising practices. Sharp’s guilty plea and sentence were done pursuant to a plea agreement with the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office – which included the requirement that Sharp agree to surrender $2,059.00 to the Disabled American Veterans of Branson.
Sharp’s charge stemmed from a November 2012 complaint brought by the Branson chapter of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) that a man in downtown Branson was panhandling for donations on behalf of the DAV. The Branson DAV reported that the man did not have authority of either the local or national DAV to be fundraising for them, nor had the man delivered any of the donations collected to the DAV. Branson police investigated and arrested Sharp, who initially lied to officers about his identity. $2,059.00 was seized from Sharp, which was alleged by officers to have been acquired through the illegal fundraising scheme.