Friday, May 22, 2015

Charity Fraud Explodes As Regulation of Charities Is Virtually Nonexistent

Sham charities have long been used to fleece well-meaning donors. But over the last decade, efforts to tighten the way charities are regulated or coordinate action between the Internal Revenue Service and state officials have largely failed either because of regulatory indifference, political lobbying or lack of political will.
Those holes were highlighted this week when the Federal Trade Commission, all 50 states and the District of Columbia accused James T. Reynolds and four charities that he helped run of cheating donors of more than $187 million, bringing the charges decades after he first hit regulators’ radar.
report in December by the Government Accountability Office found that examinations of charities and tax-exempt groups had steadily declined over the years and that review rates were lower than for other filers. 

The relative lack of oversight by the I.R.S. has put the onus on other agencies and the states to monitor potential fraud at charities. The F.T.C., for example, has previously brought actions against groups claiming to be charities.
The I.R.S. has been little help in those efforts. The regulation of charities at the state level is a hodgepodge.  (New York Times)

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: Charity Navigator, Vermont Public Radio, Miami Herald, National Public Radio (NPR), Huffington Post, The Sun News, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Wall Street Journal (Profile, News and Photos), “Betrayal”, (a movie), NBC (on Charity Fraud…TBD), FOX2, ABC Spotlight on the News, WWJ Radio, Marie Claire, Ethics World, Aspen Philanthropy Newsletter, Harvard Business Review, Current Affairs, Charity Navigator, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, St. Petersburg Times, Board Room Insider, USA Today Topics, Accountants News,, Responsive Philanthropy Magazine, New York Times, Portfolio Magazine, The Virgin Islands Daily News, NANKAI (China) BUSINESS REVIEW, National Religious Broadcasters newsletter, The Charity Governance Blog, American Chronicle, Palm Beach Post, Detroit Free Press, Oakland Press, Nonprofit World, Socially Responsible Business Forum, PNNOnline, Ohio Nonprofit Resources, Nonprofit Good Practice Guide, Nonprofit Startup Guide, Nonprofit Blog, National Coalition of Homeless Newsletter, Finance and Administration Roundtable Newsletter,, CORP! Magazine, Crain’s Michigan Nonprofit,, PhilanTopic, Nashville Free Press, Nonprofit Law Blog, Seniors World Chronicle, Carnegie Reporter, Assoc. of Certified Fraud Examiners Examiner,, Worchester (MA) Telegram and Gazette, Carnegie Corporation of America, EO Tax Journal, Wikipedia: Non-profit Organizations; Parent: Wise Austin, Accountants News, Veterans Today,, Far-roundtable, #Nonprofit Report, nonprofithelpnews, nonprofit news; National Enquirer, Northwest Herald, The HelpWise Daily, The #Nonprofit Report, Wikipedia (Nonprofit Organization),, Nonprofits: On the Brink (2006) Silence: The Impending Threat to the Charitable Sector (2011)
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