Monday, September 15, 2014

Autism Charities Are Piggybank For Founders

 by Gary Snyder

For the second time, Brandie Christian was caught in a scam involving assistance to children with autism. 

Just two years ago, the state Attorney General’s Office forced the closure of one charity, Autism Awareness United, following allegations of malfeasance there. Christian worked for that charity, which saw donated money misspent prior to its closure.

After that closing, Christian and her husband launched Autism Outreach Foundation. They incorporated the charity as a nonprofit in December 2012, naming friends and family to its board before beginning to collect donations. The charity brought in well over $400,000 since its founding, but only $4,000 has been distributed to needy families. She spent donations on designer jeans, trinkets from a Vantage gem shop, skin care products and shoes, according to a lawsuit and also made cash withdrawals from the charity account. Thousands of dollars in donations remain unaccounted for.


The state consumer protection investigators contend she and husband Joshua Hani have been scamming donors to the charity they launched. Attorneys for the state filed a civil lawsuit against the pair in an effort to shut down the Autism Outreach Foundation. The organization – which hasn’t issued a single grant to a struggling family in 2014 – appears to still be collecting money from donors. (source)





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