Larry McShane breathlessly writes in the Daily News:
They turned charity into cold-hearted cash. A shocking federal lawsuit charges four phony philanthropies, all purportedly aiding cancer victims, spent their $187 million in donations on Caribbean cruises, Disney World trips and dating services.
It’s all true, but it’s all old news.
Almost a year ago, the Tampa Bay Times and The Center for Investigative Reporting did an actual investigative report on the Reynolds charity combine. From the Tampa Bay Times article: “To track the family connections, the Times and CIR reviewed thousands of pages of financial records and investigative documents from regulators in eight states, interviewed vendors and recipients and traced donations from the phone banks to their ultimate destination.”
All Larry McShane did was read some press releases and make some phone calls. That, and deprive the Tampa Bay Times of the credit for breaking the story.
Still, there was some actual “news” here: the FTC and some state attorneys general have finally acted. But you’d never know that from Larry McShane’s sloppy article.
Source: Cancer charities misused $187 million in donations: feds – NY Daily News
There’s more to the story:
1. All 50 states and the District of Columbia joined in the lawsuit. If you do a Web search, you’ll see that this was a juicy opportunity for every state attorney general to put his name in a press release. Did all 58 (apparently some kind of Government Math — https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2015/05/ftc-all-50-states-dc-charge-four-cancer-charities-bilking-over) “law enforcement partners” put in work on this case? I’m dubious.
2. Is anyone going to jail? I doubt it. So far, three of the eight named defendants are “banned from fundraising, charity management, and oversight of charitable assets” and two charities will be dissolved. That leaves only two charities and one defendant who haven’t settled yet.