A Children’s charity known as “Cops for Kids” has been accused of swindling over $4.2 million from Ohio donors- and spending less than 2% on actual charity work.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine stepped forward on Wednesday to announce a lawsuit against the “charity,” who pocketed $3.34 million of the $4.2 million and paid into Cops For Kids’ for-profit solicitor, Telcom Enterprises, tacking an additional $802,662 on salaries and overhead costs.
“Well-meaning Ohioans gave to Cops for Kids believing their dollars would help Ohio children or support local law enforcement. Instead, an overwhelming percentage of donations were kept by the group’s for-profit fundraiser or the men who operated it,” DeWine said. “We believe Cops for Kids is a sham operation that has defrauded Ohioans out of millions of dollars while performing almost no legitimate charitable work.”
The charity would also visit local police departments and drop off teddy bears, while soliciting donations from officers.
Founded in 2004, Cops for Kids was supposed to improve the quality of life for Ohio youth through activities, education and other events that allowed kids to work with law enforcement. Collecting thousands upon thousands from Ohioans and doing the bare minimum- fare less than they claimed.
Between 2005 and 2015, Cops for Kids collected $4.2 million in donations, but only threw around $73,840 towards actual charitable programming- depriving both officers and youth a chance to learn and grow together.
“There are plenty of children’s and law enforcement groups that could use support, so to run this kind of scheme is shameful,” DeWine said. “We know that Ohioans are generous, and many will make charitable contributions, especially this time of year, but they deserve to know how and where their hard-earned dollars will be used.”
According to Richland Source, the Attorney General warned citizens to be wary and inquisitive before donating to charities.
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