Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Cancer Charity Scam

Charity begins at home, especially for those of us with no money to spare.

"Family spent millions intended for cancer patients, US says; Charities closed, executives banned from fund-raising" by Anne Flaherty Associated Press  May 20, 2015

WASHINGTON — A Tennessee man and his family used much of the $187 million it collected for cancer patients to buy themselves cars, gym memberships, and luxury cruise vacations, pay for college tuition, and employ family members with six-figure salaries, federal officials alleged Tuesday in one of the largest charity fraud cases ever, involving all 50 states.

The joint action by the Federal Trade Commission and the states says James T. Reynolds Sr., his ex-wife, and his son raised the money through their various family-run charities: The Cancer Fund of America in Knoxville, Tenn., and its affiliated Cancer Support Services; The Breast Cancer Society in Mesa, Ariz.; and the Children’s Cancer Fund of America in Powell, Tenn.

The charities billed themselves as offering financial aid and other support to cancer patients, including pain medication and hospice care.

But little money made it to patients, as the groups “operated as personal fiefdoms characterized by rampant nepotism, flagrant conflicts of interest, and excessive insider compensation” with none of the controls used by bona fide charities, the FTC said Tuesday.

Should have decided to run a bank instead. Then no problem.

Officials hailed the enforcement action as a warning sign to charity scams. But under settlement agreements with Reynolds’s ex-wife, son James T. Reynolds II, and a longtime associate of the family — Kyle Effler — that bans the three from fund-raising and shuttered their organizations, little of the money could be recouped because it’s already been spent.

OMG! That makes one sick.

Litigation against Reynolds Sr. and Cancer Fund of America is ongoing.

None of the groups returned phone calls and e-mails asking for comment. Attempts to reach family members at home by telephone were unsuccessful.

That's the difference between the propaganda pre$$ and bloggers like me: they can get answers and demand accountability from authority and the elite.

Or are they just a tool of the powerful who excitedly takes the phone call?

The Breast Cancer Society, which agreed to cease operations as part of the settlement agreement, posted a lengthy statement online Tuesday attributed to its executive director — Reynolds’s son — that blamed increased government scrutiny for the charity’s downfall.

Oh, they went around the pre$$?

“While the organization, its officers, and directors have not been found guilty of any allegations of wrongdoing, and the government has not proven otherwise, our board of directors has decided that it does not help those who we seek to serve, and those who remain in need, for us to engage in a highly publicized, expensive, and distracting legal battle around our fund-raising practices,” according to the statement.

Reynolds Sr. identified himself as president of the Cancer Fund of America. The fund’s website said he served in the Army Medical Corps for 12 years and attended Brigham Young University. The website appeared to be down Tuesday ahead of the FTC announcement.

Reynolds’s ex-wife, Rose Perkins, ran the Children’s Cancer Fund of America. That group’s website also was taken down.

According to the complaint, the organizations hired telemarketers and used direct mail to solicit donations they said would provide support for cancer patients, such as providing pain medication, transportation to chemotherapy visits, and hospice care. Instead, cancer patients received little. Professional fund-raisers hired to raise money often received 85 percent or more of every donation, according to the FTC.

I never even give them a chance to talk, and the letter goes into the trash.

To hide their high administrative costs from donors and regulators, the groups filed public financial documents saying they had taken in more than $223 million “gifts in kind,” which would be distributed to international recipients. Investigators say that number was inflated and helped to create the illusion that the groups were being more efficient with donated money than they were. According to the FTC, 36 states alleged that the defendants filed “false and misleading” financial statements with state charities.

The settlement agreement imposed hefty judgments based on the amount of money donated to the charities between 2008 and 2012. But because of Perkins’s “inability to pay,” her $30 million judgment would be suspended entirely. The $65.5 million judgment against Reynolds II would be suspended after he pays $75,000.

Why the $lap on the wrist and no radiation treatment?

Effler, former president of Cancer Support Services, faced a $41 million judgment that would be forgiven after paying $60,000.



"Two Tennessee-based cancer charities labeled ‘‘shams’’ by the Federal Trade Commission have settled a massive fraud case, along with their president, by agreeing to a $75.8 million judgment and the dissolution of the businesses. The joint action by the FTC and all 50 states says James T. Reynolds Sr. and others spent donations meant for cancer patients on six-figure salaries and luxury vacations. The settlement with Reynolds, Cancer Fund of America, and Cancer Support Services was filed Wednesday in federal court in Arizona."