Man accused of pocketing donations from friend dying of cancer

DENVER — A man has been charged for allegedly soliciting money to help a female friend who was dying of cancer and kept the money for himself, the Denver District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday.

Scott Kesterson, 52, has been charged with one count of felony theft and one count of felony computer crime.

He was arrested by U.S. Marshals on Friday in Billings, Montana, as he was about to continue on a cross-country bicycling trip.

Prosecutors said Kesterson started a donation fund in October 2013 to support his friend and business associate Kelly de la Torre, who had been diagnosed with cancer.

De la Torre, a Denver attorney, died in November 2013, but the district attorney’s office said Kesterson continued to raise money through the fund until February 2014.

Instead of giving the approximately $12,000 in donations that were raised to de la Torres’ family, prosecutors allege Kesterson kept the money for himself.

There is no timetable for when Kesterson will be extradited to Denver.