Sunday, May 24, 2015

Tennant, officials file complaint against phony cancer charities

State and federal officials filed a joint lawsuit this week against four cancer charities that allegedly scammed more than $187 million from contributors nationwide, including nearly $250,000 from West Virginians last year.
West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, state law enforcement partners across the country, the District of Columbia and the Federal Trade Commission joined together to file the complaint against Cancer Fund America, Children’s Cancer Fund of America, Cancer Support Services and the Breast Cancer Society.
The complaint alleges the charities told donors their contributions would assist cancer patients, but the money instead was misused on salaries, cruises, jet ski outings and concert tickets.
Tennant said she fears the fraudulent activity could hurt more legitimate national organizations.
Tennant advised donors to verify that the charity is registered with the Secretary of State’s Office, and to question how much is being spent on administrative costs versus how much is actually distributed to the patients and families needing help.

Tennant encouraged folks to visit the Secretary of State’s Office database to understand exactly where their charitable money is going.