Three men accused of posing as charity workers and panhandling on the Third Street Promenade were sentenced to three years probation Tuesday after pleading no contest to several misdemeanors, the city attorney's office announced.
Santa Monica resident Jerry White, 53, and Compton resident Rodney Muhammad, 56, were convicted of identity theft, false advertising, and aggressive solicitation. Derek Haskins, 53, was convicted of theft by false pretenses, false advertising, and identity theft.
They were sentenced to three years probation, and are barred from coming with 100 feet of downtown Santa Monica's business district.
Also as part of their probation, they are required to do 240 hours of "hard labor" community service and 56 hours of work at Ocean Park Community Center within one year. They are also prohibited from soliciting contributions of any kind, anywhere in California.
"The sentence fits the crime in this case," city prosecutor Gary Rhoades said in a statement. "The three men who impersonated charity workers for personal gain must now give back to the community by doing long hours of hard labor and community service.”
White, Muhammad and Haskins were arrested Nov. 26 in an undercover police sting.
For "a long time," the men were soliciting cash donations for organizations such as the AIDS Health Foundation and Another Chance Ministry, according to a Santa Monica Police Department spokesman.