Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Trust (Without Verification) Costs: $3.3 Million To Phony Charity

By Gary Snyder

Keith Aaron Vann used a phony entity known as Global Missions and said it was a non-profit organization recognized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS); that it provided humanitarian aid worldwide, including in Africa; and that donations to Global Missions would be tax deductible. 

Evidence showed that Vann participated in a scheme to defraud the victims, two of whom were Arizona elementary school teachers, of over $3.3 million from their father’s estate by making false representations. 

Vann and others used donations to Global Missions to pay for personal trips, jewelry, a down payment on a luxury car, and a $1.25 million home. 

Vann was sentenced in mid-May to 121 months in prison and ordered to pay $3,377,089.64 in restitution for his role in a conspiracy to defraud three Arizona residents into donating millions of dollars to a phony charitable organization, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.

The prosecution is the result of a three-year investigation by the IRS-Criminal Investigation Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. (source)

Nonprofit Imperative gathers its information principally from public documents...some of which are directly quoted. Virtually all cited are in some phase of criminal proceedings; some have not been charged, however. Cites in various media: Featured in print, broadcast, and online media outlets, including: Vermont Public Radio, Miami Herald, National Public Radio, Huffington Post, The Sun News, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Wall Street Journal (Profile, News and Photos), FOX2, ABC Spotlight on the News, WWJ Radio, Ethics World, Aspen Philanthropy Newsletter, Harvard Business Review, Current Affairs, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, St. Petersburg Times, B, USA Today Topics,, Responsive Philanthropy Magazine, New York Times...and many more Nonprofits: On the Brink (2006) Silence: The Impending Threat to the Charitable Sector (2011)
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