The Federal Trade Commission and 58 law enforcement partners from every state and the District of Columbia have charged four sham cancer charities and their operators with bilking more than $187 million from consumers.
The defendants told donors their money would help cancer patients, including children and women suffering from breast cancer, but the overwhelming majority of donations benefitted only the perpetrators, their families and friends, and fundraisers. This is one of the largest actions brought to date by enforcers against charity fraud.
The FTC says the charities spent about 97% of donations they received either on private fundraisers or on themselves ("Donated funds were used to pay for vehicles, personal consumer goods, college tuition, gym memberships, Jet Ski outings, dating website subscriptions, luxury cruises, and tickets to concerts and professional sporting events," the complaint says.) Only 3%, went to help actual cancer patients.
Named in the federal court complaint are Cancer Fund of America, Inc. (CFA), Cancer Support Services Inc. (CSS), their president, James Reynolds, Sr., and their chief financial officer and CSS’s former president, Kyle Effler; Children’s Cancer Fund of America Inc. (CCFOA) and its president and executive director, Rose Perkins; and The Breast Cancer Society Inc. (BCS) and its executive director and former president, James Reynolds II.
CCFOA and Perkins, BCS, Reynolds II and Effler have agreed to settle the charges against them. Under the proposed settlement orders, Effler, Perkins and Reynolds II will be banned from fundraising, charity management, and oversight of charitable assets, and CCFOA and BCS will be dissolved. Litigation will continue against CFA, CSS and James Reynolds Sr. Read more about it via the FTC's website here.
SOME fund-raising was generated by automatic payroll deductions or continuing autopay programs via personal bank accounts or credit cards. Consumers should check to be sure none of these activities are continuing via their payroll, bank accounts, or credit cards.