Monday, August 26, 2013

Exposing Charity Fraud

All along the Vegas strip, you can find people raising money for the homeless. But is the charity, U S Missionary Corps, run by Carole Dye, that they volunteer for all that it seems? Charity Navigator and Dateline NBC expose this charity scam.


ruben vassolo said...

Great story! Amazing the City of Las Vegas intervened but for seemingly the wrong reason. If the allegations in the video are true, one would think at the very least the boss would be charged with a crime (for example, theft by false pretenses, if such a crime exists in Nevada). Surely there are good societal reasons for not wanting up to 18 people living in a 4 bedroom home, but there are even better reasons for stopping nonprofits and their executives that do not do what they say they are going to do.

If the allegations are true, one would think misrepresenting the volunteer status of the fundraisers, their unemployment status and their homelessness would all be actionable under Nevada law. To add insult to injury, what if the poor fundraisers, whether homeless and/or jobless at the time they were hired or not, failed to report all their collections to their boss? Cash can be pretty tempting.

If the allegations are true, what a great example of how well-meaning misinformed donors can be swindled and society at large cheated. Who would give money if they knew the homeless were not really homeless (living in crowded conditions is not homelessness) and the jobless volunteers were actually being paid up to 20% of their collections plus room and board?

This is a good example of why Charity Navigator is indispensable. If donors can be fooled in person, can we imagine the risk posed by the Internet and other fundraising methods where in person conversations are not likely? Reading all the form 990’s and the charities’ websites will also not solve the problem. Thank goodness CN provides free of charge useful information about charities and is well on its way to developing a system that will allow their results to be measured and evaluated. We all want to know the specific results of our donations. Thanks to CN, one day this will be the norm.

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flee coop said...

My wife Janice has wanted to donate to honest and forthright charities because that is a part of her religious and loving nature. As for myself, I am a hard sell and am extremely skeptical of a vast majority of charities; most especially of so-called, "faith-based or christian" charities. That is not to say we are non-religious; on the contrary, we are religious. However, thanks to my discovery of CN, we can now make informed and correct decisions insofar as donating where it is properly used as intended. Being both retired, we have to account for our expenses. Thank you, CN! We plan to help you occasionally when we are more able.