Get ready for the "feel-bad" story of the day.
On May 19, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it has filed a complaint against four bogus cancer charities. The FTC is working on the case in conjunction with law enforcement in all fifty states and the District of Columbia.
Cancer Fund of America, Cancer Support Services, Children’s Cancer Fund of America, and the Breast Cancer Society were charged with deception and abuse of donor funds. The sham organizations promised that donations would go to patients in need to pay for medication, groceries, transportation to treatment, counseling, hospice care, and other direct support services. The FTC claims that those in charge of these groups siphoned the majority of donations into their own pockets and those of family, friends, and fundraisers instead.
The FTC estimates that together the four organizations misused over $187 million in donations.
In response to the charges, two of the organizations agreed to cease operations. Three individuals among the accused have also agreed to a lifetime ban in working in the charity field. The FTC is continuing legal action against all others charged.
It appears those already sentenced are facing stiff fines, but of course, nothing close to what they've stolen. And most disappointingly, none of the guilty appear to be facing jail time. While these are not violent crimes, they are definitely despicable ones. It's sad that in America today peaceful protesters and marijuana users go to prison while vile, morally bankrupt thieves like these remain free.
On the bright side, at least the FTC is making a concentrated effort to shut down these corrupt organizations. The Commission is also asking the public to help with the crackdown. Tips on how to spot sham charities are available at the FTC's Charity Scams website. And if you do stumble upon a shady charity, please take the time to file a complaint. There are so many people in the world who genuinely need our help. Let's make sure our donations go to them, not scumbag liars and thieves.
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