New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo on Tuesday announced that he had filed a lawsuit against a charity that accepts donated cars, indicating it of making profit that was intended for humanitarian aid.
In the statement of Mr. Cuomo, he said that he had subpoenaed 16 other related charities as part of an investigation into how they were using the money that they generated from the sales of donated vehicles.
One of the organizations he filed suit against is Feed the Hungry (FTH), Nicholas Cascone Jr. Mr. Cuomo claimed that between 2002 and 2009, Cascone and the charity collected $430,000 via car donations but only used 1.8 percent or $7,900 for their charitable programs. In defence, FTH claims that they used the money to feed homeless New Yorkers.
Cascone and his charity “promised to use donated vehicles to help the homeless but only ended up taking generous New Yorkers for a ride,” Cuomo said.
The lawsuit seeks to shut down the operations the said charity, remove their rights from receiving donations in the future, and hold Mr. Cascone liable for restitution and damages. Additionally, the lawsuit seeks to divert all remaining assets and funds of the organization to other legitimate organizations.
“It’s early in the investigation,” Mr. Cuomo said to reporters in a conference on Tuesday in Manhattan. “But we have reason to believe the fraud is widespread throughout this area.”
The other charities that received subpoena include Bless the Kids, Kars 4 Kids, and Lechaim for Life. Nonprofits are exempted in tax and donations are tax deductible, Cuomo said his office needs to investigate these organizations to prevent any malfeasance.
“We remain concerned that similar practices may prevail in other organizations and will diligently work to root out any other sham charities. As we continue working to clean up this industry, we encourage generous New Yorkers to stay informed and to keep donating to worthy charities,” said Cuomo.