Two nationwide sham charities that bilked donors out of $75 million have been shut down by the federal government, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said Friday, March 25.
In announcing the settlement, Schneiderman said that his office and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission have successfully concluded the “largest multistate charity fraud action to date.”
He dubbed the shutdown as “historic.”
The Cancer Fund of America Inc. (CFA) and Cancer Supports Services Inc. (CSS) are being dissolved and their president, James Reynolds Sr., has been banned from profiting from any charity fundraising in the future, Schneiderman said.
The two organizations purported to help cancer patients, but the majority of the donations went into the pockets of their operators and the operators’ families and friends, the attorney general said.
“Sham charities betray the generosity of donors and do a disservice to the causes they claim to support,” Schneiderman added.
A joint federal-state complaint filed in 2015 claimed that four sham charities run by Reynolds and family members allegedly stole more than $187 million in total, of which nearly $3 million was stolen from donors in New York state alone.
The two supposed cancer charities were responsible, Schneiderman said, for $75 million of that amount.
The other two sham charities settled last year.
Under the new settlement, CFA, CSS and Reynolds will have to repay the $75.825,653 consumers donated between 2008 and 2013.
CFA and CSS will liquidate their assets and Reynolds will have to “surrender” certain artwork, two pistols, and the money from the sale of a pontoon boat.
The full judgment will come due if Reynolds is found to have misrepresented his “financial condition.”
The other defendants in the case were Kyle Effler, CFA’s and CSS’s chief financial officer and the latter’s former president; Children’s Cancer Fund of America Inc. (CCFOA), and Rose Perkins, its president and executive director; and The Breast Cancer Society Inc. (BCS), and its executive director and former president, James Reynolds II.
Effler, Perkins and Reynolds II are banned from fundraising, charity management, and oversight of charitable assets, Schneiderman said.
The CCFOA and BCS will be dissolved as well, he said.
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