The Attorney General’s Charitable Law Section has taken action against a number of organizations for failing to take their responsibilities seriously, sending a statewide message that fraud in Ohio’s charitable sector will not be tolerated.
Recent actions include:
Ladybugs Wings of Love in Columbus was the subject of an assurance of discontinuance alleging the group and its leaders claimed to have provided multiple types of charitable services that were never provided or offered. Claims also included failure to keep records, committing deceptive practices, and filing false information with the Attorney General’s Office.
An assurance of discontinuance was filed against the Union Club and the Union Club of Springfield over allegations of irregularities in their bingo operations, failure to follow bylaws, and failure to engage in sound board governance, among other things. The terms of the agreement included a temporary suspension of the club’s bingo license, the removal of all board members, and the election of new leaders for both organizations.
An action was filed against Free Truth Enterprise of Cincinnati and its leaders, alleging breaches of fiduciary duties and unjust enrichment of the organization’s leaders in connection with multiple properties held by the charity. The filing also alleges the charity failed to provide requested records, file reports, or provide charitable programming. A judge granted a preliminary injunction while the case progresses.
An action was filed in Richland County against Ministry in Marketing, alleging the organization and its leaders failed to pass along all of the proceeds due other groups from the sale of coupon booklets published by Ministry in Marketing. The complaint also alleges that consumers were misled about what groups had approved and would benefit from sale of the coupon books and that the organization failed to make required charitable filings.
Citizens with information about fraudulent, deceptive, or questionable activities within charitable organizations should file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office. Some of the recent filings resulted from citizen complaints.
“Individuals who misuse charities and mislead donors are forewarned that my office will pursue them,” Attorney General Mike DeWine said. “Ohioans expect the hard-earned dollars they contribute to charities to be used in good faith, and charities are doing too much with too little these days to let charitable resources be misused or abused.”
The Attorney General said citizens play an important role in protecting the integrity of the charitable sector by reporting suspicious activities. Complaints can be submitted by calling the Attorney General’s Help Center at 800-282-0515 or by filing online at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/NonprofitComplaint