Florida AG declares charity a ‘scam outfit’, warns donors to do their homework
PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. (CBS 12) —
A charitable organization that claims to collect money for families of wounded firemen and breast cancer resources is lying to donors and pocketing most of the cash, according to Florida's Attorney General.
That organization lists its headquarters in Pompano Beach, just south of Palm Beach County, and CBS 12 went check it out but found no trace of a real non-profit.
We did, however, find a dozen warnings about the so-called charity online.
And there's a lesson here about donating to charity, do your homework first.
State Attorney General Pam Bondi says her investigators have uncovered an ugly thing.
A pie chart lays it out.
Bondi's office says of all the money Community Charity Advancement Inc. collected for 3 years, 95 percent of it stayed in-house to pay the bosses.
Tens of millions of dollars.
On Community Charity Advancement Inc's website, there are references to Breast Cancer and to The US firefighters association, but the AG's office says those are lies.
Watchdog group *Charity Watch* did their own investigation, they gave the organization an F. And they warn if anyone gets a phone call from Community Charity Advancement, don't give them anything.
We wanted to hear from organization leaders, to get their side of this story, so we went to the office listed on their site.
The office manager of the property says the group never had an office here, but they have a mailbox here.
The number on the website goes to an answering service, CBS 12 left a message but received no callback.
Community Charity Advancement is being called a "scam" outfit by the AG. She says their strategy to get donations, to line their own pockets, has been an "outrageous ploy" and she says they will be held accountable.
If you gave money to this organization, you need to fill out a form, so the AG's office can get in touch with you.
The primary tactic for fundraising was telephone calls.
For more information from the Attorney General click here.