Wash. AG Sues Charity Over Strong-Arm Tactics

     SEATTLE (CN) — A bogus charity for abused women has representatives berate, insult and follow people to their cars who refuse to give, according to a complaint filed by the Washington attorney general.
     The state sued Daring Hands, its president Lereida Brown and vice president George Heedley in King County Superior Court on claims the charity violated Washington state’s Charitable Solicitations and Consumer Protection Acts.
     Daring Hands purports to aid abused women and children by providing food, clothing, hygiene items and temporary shelter but is not registered with the state as a charity, according to the complaint.
     “Although Daring Hands has not been registered as a charity and does not qualify for exemption from registration, it has solicited charitable donations at tables set up outside of Seattle-area farmers markets and grocery stores since 2011,” the complaint says.
     Representatives for the group also harass and intimidate those who refuse to contribute, the state says.
     “Daring Hands solicits donations in a harassing and intimidating manner. Upon information and belief, Daring Hands representatives yell at consumers to solicit donations and then make disparaging comments to consumers who decline to make donations. Daring Hands’ representatives also walk backward in front of consumers who pass by their tables without making a donation and follow consumers to their cars to solicit donations,” according to the complaint.
     Representatives claim all donations are tax deductible, but Daring Hands is not tax-exempt. Brown and other officers also personally used funds for travel and dining out, the complaint says.
     “Upon information and belief, instead of aiding abused women and children, donations made to Daring Hands have been used for Brown and other officers’ personal inurement. Representative examples include Brown’s purchase of $2,036 in plane tickets to attend a family member’s funeral on April 27, 2015; $40 of meals for herself and family members at Shari’s Cafe and Pies in Moscow, Idaho, on May 11, 2015; and, $128.47 of meals for herself and family and/or friends at 13 Coins in Seattle, Washington, on June 1, 2015,” according to the complaint.
     The state wants damages for soliciting donations without registration, making false statements in solicitations, harassing in solicitations, misrepresenting tax deductibility of contributions, representing that paid solicitors are volunteers and failing to make required disclosures.
     Representatives for Daring Hands did not immediately respond to an email request for comment.

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