Story by Jeff Jenkins, MetroNews

SUTTON, W.Va. — A Braxton County man, well-known for organizing beauty pageants, is free on bond after it was lowered as part of a preliminary hearing.

Gary Beamer (Central Regional Jail)

Fraud charges against Gary Beamer, 43, of Sutton, were forwarded to a grand jury following a preliminary hearing in Braxton County Magistrate Court Tuesday. State police charged Beamer with charged with two counts of fraudulent schemes late last month. It’s alleged Beamer told people that money raised from beauty pageants was going to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Alzheimer’s Association of West Virginia when he allegedly kept it for personal gain.

Troopers said Beamer has been operating pageants in the Braxton County area since 2007.

Bond was originally set at $50,000 cash in the case but the magistrate lowered it Tuesday to $25,000 surety. Beamer was able to post bond Tuesday. He will be on home confinement as his case moves through the system.

The charges will next go to a Braxton County grand jury for consideration.