Charity organizations do a valuable job for underprivileged people and communities. They find ways and go the extra mile to raise funds to launch campaigns that are aimed at helping the poor and underprivileged and improving their lives even if only for a temporary basis.
Unfortunately, there are people who are using these charities for their personal gain. There have been numerous cases around the world involving individuals swindling other people to support their own personal causes.
On the other hand, there are also organizations that are not true to their mission. In the U.S., for instance, the worst charities have been discovered after a year-long investigation done by CNN in collaboration with the Center for Investigative Reporting.
Late last year, a con man was found guilty of raising an estimated $100 million using a bogus charity that he founded called the United States Navy Veterans Association. The 57-year-old former intelligence officer who used the name Commander Bobby Thompson solicited money supposedly to help veterans although the others did not exist as he was the only one who benefited. The judge who handled his case even reprimanded Thompson during the reading of his prison sentence of 28 years saying because of the man’s greed, good citizens are now afraid to give and worthy organizations that count of small donations are now struggling for money.
In another scam case, a young woman from Long Island was discovered to have raised money to support her heroin addiction by pretending to have cancer. Brittany Ozarowski admitted in court that she raised thousands of dollars by telling family members, friends and neighbors that she had a serious illness and created a website relating her pathetic state with a photo of her in a wheelchair. The woman also placed two dozen donation jars in local restaurants and stores to collect money.
With organizations, journalists have discovered that not all charities adhere to their mission. In fact, some 6,000 charities were found to be paying for-profit companies in order to raise funds.
CNN, for example, noted that while Kids Wish Network raises millions of dollars in donations each year, only less than three cents on the dollar is spent on helping dying children and their families. The other portions of the donations are apparently used by the charity’s operators including the founder and his own consulting companies.
There was also one diabetes charity that raised almost $14 million yet gave only about $10,000 to diabetic patients.
Some of those in the list of worst charities in the U.S. were found to spend less than four percent of donations or even less to direct cash aid. Six in the list spent no cash at all for the cause they are fighting for.
These fraudulent activities by individuals and organizations eventually get discovered by law enforcers with the suspect put to jail. However, they continue to be committed by people hungry for money.
Criminal lawyers are responsible for handling this type of case. In the event you become of victim of these charity scams, never hesitate to consult with a Los Angeles criminal lawyer notably if you are in the L.A. area.
Being vigilant will help you determine whether people are sincere in their motives. In this age of digital technology when scams exist both online and offline, it helps to do a little research first before deciding on sharing you hard-earned money with charitable causes.