For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Kriss Bivens Cloyd
(208) 334-4119

Date: May 19, 2015

Wasden Announces Settlements Stopping Two Fraudulent Cancer Charities

(Boise) – Children’s Cancer Fund of America, Inc. and The Breast Cancer Society of America, can no longer solicit donations for their phony cancer charities, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said in announcement today with the other 49 Attorneys General, the District of Columbia and the Federal Trade Commission

Wasden jointly filed a federal lawsuit against four phony cancer charities and their operators, who allegedly scammed more than $187 million from consumers across the United States. Litigation is currently pending against two other charities, Cancer Fund of America, Inc. and Cancer Support Services, Inc.

“Many Idahoans gave their hard-earned money to these sham charities in the hope of helping people with cancer,” Attorney General Wasden said. “The reality is most of the money was used for the benefit of the individuals and their families for their own personal interest and not to help people with cancer.”

According to the lawsuit, the defendants used telemarketing calls, direct mail, websites, and materials to portray themselves as legitimate charities with substantial programs that provided direct support to cancer patients in the United States, such as providing patients with pain medication, transportation to chemotherapy, and hospice care.

“I believe Idahoans making these charitable donations would be unhappy to know their money was really used by the organizations for lucrative employment for family members and friends, and spent consumer donations on cars, trips, luxury cruises, college tuition, gym memberships, jet ski outings, sporting event and concert tickets, and dating site memberships,” said Wasden.

The complaint alleges that, to hide their high administrative and fundraising costs from donors and regulators, the defendants falsely inflated their revenues by reporting in publicly filed financial documents over $223 million in donated “gifts in kind” which they claimed to distribute to international recipients. In fact, the defendants were merely pass-through agents for such goods. By reporting the inflated “gift in kind” donations, defendants created the illusion that they were larger and more efficient with donors’ dollars than they actually were.

The settlements require that Children’s Cancer Fund and Breast Cancer Society be dissolved, their assets liquidated and certain individuals are banned from fundraising and operating charities. Any remaining assets will be applied to the judgment.

“Charities rely on the generosity of our citizens,” Wasden said. “I encourage you to do some research before you commit your hard-earned dollars. My office provides helpful guidelines on charitable giving and if you have questions or concerns, please contact my Consumer Protection Division.”

The action was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. The settlement agreements will not be final until approved by the court.

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