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Sunday, May 19, 2024 | Back issues
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Minnesota Helps Charity Fight Fun-Run Swindle

ELK RIVER, Minn. (CN) - A convicted felon has been pocketing the proceeds of fun runs that participants think supported cancer charities, Minnesota authorities claim in court.

Frederick Kellogg, of Saint Cloud, has not passed along one cent to the leukemia charity whose logo he uses in advertisements for the LoziLu mud runs he hosts throughout the country, according to the complaint filed Friday in Sherburne County District Court.

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson says Kellogg bought the LoziLu brand in 2014 through his business, Fresh New Taste LLC.

He used the name "Bradley Peters" on all official paperwork to hide his past, according to the complaint.

"Kellogg has been sued individually, in Minnesota and federally, over 40 times, resulting in over 30 unpaid judgments against him that totaled in excess of $2.5 million," the complaint states. "Frederick Kellogg was convicted of felony theft by swindle in Itasca County in 2012."

Mud-run participants paid between $54 and $79 to register for races that Kellogg advertises as "benefiting young patients with cancer."

LoziLu allegedly said that the money is "used to pay medical bills and help children with cancer achieve their bucket lists."

It's "all to help the kiddos with cancer," LoziLu's homepage states, according to the complaint.

Swanson says "participants stated they were motivated to register for the events because they believed their registration fee would be used to support the fight against cancer."

In reality, Kellogg's company had an agreement to donate just 5 percent of participants' registration fees to a charity called LIFE, short for Leukemia Ironman Fundraiser for Eric, according to the complaint.

Swanson says Kellogg never even gave that.

The attorney general claims that LIFE sent Kellogg and his company a cease-and-desist letter after it received no contributions and LoziLu ignored requests to clarify their association on its website.

LoziLu failed to remove LIFE's logo from its website and marketing materials as requested, according to the complaint.

"Wholly aside from the fact that LoziLu deceived donors by not remitting any money to L.I.F.E., LoziLu has also cancelled several scheduled runs without adequate notice - or sometimes without any notice at all - to the donors," the complaint states.

In one instance, about 100 participants showed up to a scheduled race only to discover Kellogg had never booked the venue, Swanson says.

LoziLu did not provide refunds in these cases, once going so far as to telling a credit card company that a race had been held to thwart a disputed charge, according to the complaint.

Swanson says Kellogg also failed to register his company as a professional fundraiser in Minnesota, which would have required him to disclose how much the company was keeping.

Swanson alleges false and misleading solicitation of donations, deceptive trade practices, failing to register as a professional fundraiser and failing to file solicitation paperwork.

Assistant Attorney General Joshua Skaar signed the complaint.

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