Wednesday, May 4, 2016

After Years Of Abuse, Hershey Trust Still In Trouble

by Gary Snyder

The chaos at the top of the $12 billion Hershey charity continues.

Insider John Estey, a top official at the Hershey Trust Co., which manages the charity's finances, was charged by federal prosecutors with pocketing $13,000 that was to be used for lobbying state lawmakers as part of a sting.

Chuck Ardo, the spokesman for the Attorney General's Office, said that "we have not heard a satisfactory response from" the Hershey Trust on other outstanding concerns.

Before a 2013 agreement, there was no limit on board compensation. The 2013 agreement limited compensation to a base pay of $30,000 a year, but also includes more pay for attending meetings and heading committees. The attorney general’s office expressed "serious concerns regarding the apparent violations of the 2013 agreement."

In its latest filing with the IRS for the year ending July 31, 2014, the Hershey charity disclosed that
Velma Redmond, the current chairwoman earned $97,500 in directors' compensation, Joseph Senser, the vice chairman  earned $204,500, and long-standing board member and a former chairman who joined in 2001, Robert Cavanaugh, earned $332,500

The money could have come from multiple Hershey-related boards and may not be subject to the 2013 agreement.

The Hershey boards investigated the summer employment of Cavanaugh's son with "one of the trust's investment management firms."

Mark Pacella, the chief deputy attorney general, alleges the Hershey board's apparent "failure to exercise its best efforts in a timely manner to secure new board members" with experience in early childhood education and working with at-risk children. 

After the unveiling of the investigations, several board members resigned. 

The Attorney General's Office was seeking, by July 31, the resignation of board members who have served more than 10 years.

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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