PORTLAND, Texas — A paper trail, or lack thereof, connected three people who believe they were scammed out of thousands of dollars.
Rosie Davis hired Danna McKellar Ntaka to help her start a non-profit organization. Davis’ mother died of complications from COVID-19 in May 2020. She wanted to start the Yellow Heart Memorial, a service creating memorials across the country, so those who died of COVID-19 would not be forgotten.
Davis has met with Ntaka several times in person and told her that she filed the proper paperwork with the IRS to obtain the organization’s identification number in July 2021. Ntaka received $1,700 to start. As of Friday, Davis had received no confirmation from Ntaka or the IRS.
“So, I told him,” Davis said. “I said ‘look, I just hung up with the IRS and the IRS said they had absolutely nothing on me. I said, and ‘I’m very upset’. And I say ‘what’s going on?'”
Davis said Ntaka made excuse after excuse as to why she couldn’t give Davis confirmation. First, it was because the IRS was backed by six million claims. That’s when the confirmation was buried in 3,000 emails. It was then that she could have filed the organization under another name.
“I spoke to another friend of mine who had applied after me and had already picked up her number,” Davis said. “And she was like, ‘That’s really weird. “”
Before the red flags appeared, Davis suggested Ntaka to Valerie Villegas. She had just started a non-profit organization of her own, in honor of her late husband. The Robert Villegas Foundation was created to help underprivileged mixed martial arts students in the Boucle du Littoral region. Robert Villegas was one of the region’s most accomplished mixed martial artists.
“She spoke very well,” Villegas said. “Seemed to know, from a business perspective, what she was talking about. So I said, ‘Well, let’s try.'”
Then Villegas started going through what Davis had been through. Ntaka communicated sparingly and dwelt on why there was no confirmation for the forms submitted to the IRS. Ntaka told Villegas it was filed in September 2021, but Villegas said when she finally saw the forms, something seemed to go off.
“In fact, the files she sent me were manually modified, the date of submission,” says Villegas. “So the submission date that I see on the documents she gave me is different from the IRS.”
Villegas said she had to aggressively pressure Ntaka, who is based in Tyler, TX, to hand over the documents. Villegas paid Ntaka $2,000. Villegas said she probably lost more taking Ntaka’s advice on things she should do for the organization that didn’t help.
“One day I was searching the internet because I said, ‘Let me look at that lady again,'” Villegas said. “Because I know she changed that paperwork and it just blew my mind. And it was actually a felon from the Pennsylvania area for fraud.”
KZTV can confirm that Ntaka was convicted of scam-related crimes in Pennsylvania between 2014 and 2016.
At least one scam involved Ntaka renting a house, posing as his own, and renting it out to collect thousands of dollars in rent and security deposits.
Villegas learned that Ntaka was working in the medical field with a pregnant woman, but became skeptical about it, being a nurse herself.
According to the State of Texas websites for medical licensing and nursing licensing, Ntaka is not listed.
Villegas said unfortunately for her, she recommended Ntaka to a friend who was starting a campaign in Congress, before any red flags were raised. She said he lost $15,000 when Ntaka was hired to launch the campaign.
Ntaka’s profile indicates that she is a maternal/fetal researcher and founder of Campus of Care. An error message appears when you try to visit its website.
Villegas filed a complaint with Portland police, but has yet to get an update on the investigation. Davis did not file anything with law enforcement on Friday.
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