Florida AG Targets Purported Charity for Deceiving Donors

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (CN) – Florida’s attorney general claims in court that a Pompano Beach-based nonprofit is a charity in name only and spends almost all of the money it raises from the public on vendor and employee salaries.

In a complaint filed in Florida’s 17th Judicial Circuit on Monday, Attorney General Kristen Pesicek says the defendant Community Charity Advancement Inc. donated less than two cents of every dollar it raised through contributions between 2013 and 2016.

According to Pesicek, contributions were diverted and used for purposes “quite different” from what donors expected.

The attorney general said in order to raise funds, the defendant posed as different organizations, including the Breast Cancer Research and Support Fund, U.S. Volunteer Firefighters Association, United States Firefighter Association, United States Firefighters Association, and US Volunteer Firefighters Association.

Community Charity Advancement then allegedly

comingled the funds, despite the fact they were collected to support very different organizations.

“The donors believe they’re supporting projects and programs, … this is not the case,” Pesicek said.

“As a result of the defendants’ FDUTPA [Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act] violations, these generous donors were misled into contributing to CCAI instead of the many legitimate charitable organizations operating bona fide programs that support breast cancer research, breast cancer and fire victims, as well as firefighters,” the complaint says.

The attorney general seeks dissolution of the defendant company, equitable restitution for harmed parties, and civil penalties against the defendants.

A representative of Community Charity Advancement did not respond to a request for comment.

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