This week, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody highlighted almost half a million dollars secured for nonprofits this year following a successful court action against an unlawful charity robocall scheme.
Through a court action earlier this year, Associated Community Services, its sister companies and owners were ordered to pay almost $500,000 in charitable contributions. In Tampa on Tuesday, Moody ceremoniously presented one of these payments to a veteran representing the Semper Fi & America’s Fund.
“This deceptive charity robocall scheme purported to help veterans, first responders and cancer patients but instead ripped off generous Floridians and donors nationwide. As Florida’s attorney general, I am committed to holding accountable those who target and exploit the kindness of others for their own financial gain. It is my pleasure to redirect these funds to court approved organizations that work to provide resources to those in need.” Moody said.
Semper Fi & America’s Fund CEO, President and Founder Karen Guenther weighed in on the effort. “
We are incredibly grateful for the hard work of Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and this amazing donation that will impact the lives of many military heroes under our care. This special donation will be matched dollar for dollar through our annual Double Down for Veterans campaign with The Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation to provide critical funding for our combat wounded, critically ill and injured service members, military family members, and veterans, from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. This outpouring of support is truly humbling and deeply appreciated by everyone in the Fund family,” Guenther said.
The funding is the result of previous legal action taken by Moody, along with the Federal Trade Commission and agencies from 37 other states and the District of Columbia. The coalition worked together to shut down the massive telefunding operation that bombarded 67 million consumers with more than one billion deceptive charitable fundraising robocalls.
As a result of the coordinated action, $495,000 was recovered and redistributed to the American Cancer Society, Semper Fi & America’s Fund and the Tunnel to Towers Foundation. The money will be used to assist with cancer treatment and to help military service members, first responders and their families.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, charity-related fraud increases during the holidays as individuals seek to donate to veterans and other charities. To avoid falling victim to these scams, Moody encouraged Floridians to follow these tips before making a charitable contribution:
Contact the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance at Give.org or Charity Navigator to determine whether a charity has any complaints against it before donating;
Research how the charity uses donations;
Refrain from providing banking information to unsolicited callers or emails on behalf of a charity; and
Carefully review the charity’s name before making a donation.
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