Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich recently announced that $2.5 million of funds from “sham” cancer charities will be given to authentic cancer centers across the United States. The funds are a result of a settlement reached in a multistate enforcement action against multiple fake cancer organizations, including Cancer Fund of America, The Breast Cancer Society, Cancer Support Services, and Children’s Cancer Fund of America.
In addition to the $2.5 million donation, the sham charities were shut down, all available corporate and personal assets were liquidated, and a lifetime ban from operating charitable organizations was placed on those involved in the fake charities.
The lawsuit, brought in 2015, alleged that the “sham” charities withheld millions of dollars from donors and that only 3% of the money obtained was actually given to cancer patients. Additionally, it was discovered that Cancer Fund of America never arranged transportation to chemotherapy treatments for patients, and never administered the pain medication it claimed to have provided.
The purported heads of the fake charities were held personally liable and said to have used the donations for personal salaries, vacations, concerts, and dating site memberships.
The lawsuit was the first of its kind in bringing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Federal Trade Commission together to jointly shut down “sham” charities.
* Kayley Lew contributed to this post.