FTC Shuts Down Phony Cancer Charities that Bilked Millions from Donors

FTC Shuts Down Phony Cancer Charities that Bilked Millions from Donors
Image: Pixabay
March 30, 2016

When writing a check for charity, do you really know where your money is going?

About $187 million went to phony charities that claimed to help cancer patients, but the money instead went to the organizations' operators, families, friends, and fundraisers.

As part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), two charities have been dissolved and their president is banned from profiting from any charity fundraising in the future.

Filed in May 2015, the FTC complaint against Cancer Fund of America, Cancer Support Services, two additional charities, and James Reynolds claims that the organizations bilked more than $187 million from donors. Cancer Fund of America and Cancer Support Services were responsible for more than $75 million of that total amount. The other two charities settled back in May 2015.

"The FTC and our state enforcement partners have ended a pernicious charity fraud that syphoned hundreds of millions of dollars away from well-meaning consumers, legitimate charities, and people with cancer who needed the services the defendants falsely promised," said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "Today's settlement, along with those announced earlier, shut down the sham charities once and for all and banned the individual perpetrators for life."

The settlement also imposes a partially suspended monetary judgement of about $75.8 million against Reynolds and the organizations. The judgements will be partially satisfied after the liquidation of assets.