As the weather gets warmer and spring arrives, many of us will be traveling across the Show-Me State. One destination for many will be Branson, but one performer will not be onstage as he pleads guilty to a fraud scheme involving foster children.

My wife and I are heading to Branson at the end of April to the Sight and Sound Theater. We've seen plenty of great performances through the year at this theater. We've spent even more time shopping, eating at area restaurants and watching shows at other venues..

One theater we never made it to was the John Denver tribute at the Branson IMAX. This where James Patrick Garrett performed and took advantage of his own audiences by pulling at their heartstrings while stealing from their pockets.

Garrett pleaded guilty in federal court to stealing more than $85,000 from hundreds of his own audience members who donated to his non-existent charity for foster children. Garrett performed approximately six days a week throughout the year.

The fraud scheme that Garrett perpetuated lasted from March 2016 to August 2020. He created Diamond Jym Ranch, Inc., with himself as president and a member of its board of directors. According to its articles of incorporation, Diamond Jym Ranch was supposedly created for “the purpose of establishing homes for displaced or homeless boys or girls, to provide training and education for such children, to provide them with food, lodging, and their well being.”

Garrett admitted that he used the money that he raised for his personal living expenses, which included frequently dining out at Branson restaurants, credit card debt, rent, taxes, mortgage payments, health insurance, and automobile insurance.

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