Several years ago, CNN and the Tampa Times did a series on dozens of scam charities…operating all across the country…that take hundreds of millions of dollars from consumers under the representation that these organizations engage in legitimate charitable activities. (See the reporting here.) Among the highlights, CNN found that the worst charities devote less than 4% of donations to direct cash aid. Since the CNN reporting…the problem of scam charities has only gotten much, much worse. As the US economy has improved, unsuspecting consumers have devoted even more money…hundreds of millions of dollars…to scam charities. So where does the money go? Primarily into the pockets of the scam artists and their affiliated companies, largely a network of boiler room phone solicitation companies….and increasingly those annoying robotic computer generated audio phone calls.
According to Matt Weidner, an attorney in St. Petersburg Florida and the named plaintiff in this case, “The thing that makes this Final Judgment so important is it provides a road map and a guide that can be used by consumers in all 50 states. Scam charities are a true scourge on society, preying upon the good will…and often trading on the good name of legitimate charities. It truly is a crisis that neither state nor federal authorities are policing these charities, because they are hurting the most vulnerable people in society. Sick kids, those suffering from cancer, the elderly. They all suffer because hundreds of millions of dollars that should be going to support them is instead diverted into the hands of con artists.I want this lawsuit and this Final Judgment to be a wake up call to state and federal officials and consumers that something must be done immediately to shut these despicable con artists down!I’m calling upon the attorney generals from every state…and federal officials to say enough is enough and shut these scam charities down. If I can do it…so can you!
And attached here below is a link to the court docket that shows the progression of the case, along with depositions and other important documents: