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Crime

State and Federal Regulators Initiate Nationwide Fraudulent Charity Sweep

Richard Newman

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Last week, New York Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood announced that, in conjunction with the federal and state enforcement initiative “Operation Donate with Honor,” a settlement had been reached with Operation Troop Aid Inc., a Tennessee-based military charity. According to the NY OAG, OTA engaged in a deceptive marketing campaign and failed to properly oversee donations made from a commercial co-venture with a nationwide retailer.

“Charities have a fundamental responsibility when it comes to partnerships that use their charitable name and status,” said Attorney General Underwood. “Too often, co-ventures are little more than thinly-veiled marketing operations. Charities must not sell out their status for questionable gains.”

According to the OAG, OTA’s stated mission is to send care packages to deployed servicemembers – participated in an unlawful commercial co-venture with nationwide retailer, Harris Originals of NY, Inc. and its related stores. OTA allegedly allowed Harris Jewelry to use the charity’s name in Harris Jewelry’s so-called “Operation Teddy Bear,” in which Harris Jewelry advertised that it would donate a specific amount of money to OTA when consumers purchased its teddy bears dressed in military uniforms, based on a bear’s size.

The investigation found that OTA failed to ensure that Harris Jewelry was donating the full amount it advertised to the public. The investigation further found that Harris Jewelry sent OTA checks without documentation outlining how the donated amount was calculated, and at times provided different information to consumers as to the amount of money donated. Harris Jewelry allegedly used OTA’s logo and its relationship with the charity prominently in advertising and promotional materials, and OTA displayed Harris Jewelry’s logo on care packages sent overseas to deployed servicemembers.

OTA has acknowledged that it did not have a written agreement with Harris Jewelry, that it failed to oversee the co-venture with Harris Jewelry and that there was insufficient oversight of its operations and records. OTA further acknowledged that it failed to ensure that donated money was used for its stated charitable purpose, and that it made other purportedly charitable expenditures directly to individuals at the sole discretion of its chief executive, with no application or assessment process or action by its Board.

OTA, as part of the settlement, will cease operating and wind down its operation. OTA’s chief executive is also barred from serving as a fiduciary or soliciting for any nonprofit. The settlement assesses civil penalties and requires OTA to continue providing investigational cooperation and assistance.

Concurrently, the FTC has announced that the agency and its state partners have taken action against other schemes as part of “Operation Donate with Honor,” a nationwide law enforcement and education initiative to stop veterans-related charity fraud. FTC investigations (CIDs) and defense law firm Hinch Newman reports that regulators nationwide have joined this initiative, which has been in the works for months. Hinch Newman also reports that state attorneys general had recently been issuing civil investigative demands for weeks, leading up to the FTC’s announcement.

Contact Hinch Newman at 212-756-8777 if you have any questions the recent charity-based regulatory sweep, or if you or your company have been served with process or received a civil investigative demand. Following the author on LinkedIn.

Hinch Newman is a regulatory litigation, investigations and compliance law firm.   

Informational purposes only. Not legal advice. Always seek the advice of an attorney. Previous case results do not guarantee similar future result. Hinch Newman LLP | 40 Wall St., 35th Floor, New York, NY 10005 | (212) 756-8777.

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Crime

Roger Stone Begs for Money and Claims Mueller Going to Arrest Him

Polipace Staff

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If there’s one thing Trump and his cabal of crooks are good at, it’s grifting from people who have little or nothing. The Trump/Pence website is always posting fundraisers to get every last penny and they do it by amping up the fear quotient, “Our way of life is under attack,” and so forth.

The most recent plea from these quarters is coming from Roger Stone, who, comically, is all but announcing he’s about to be indicted. Or, maybe he just wants to get the money and run away to Belize, or some other country without an extradition treaty, who knows?

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Crime

Is OJ Simpson Stalking Women at Grape Street Wine Bar in Downtown Summerlin?

Polipace Staff

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Artistic Representation

OJ Simpson, who was found liable for the deaths of two people, and then convicted of Robbery and Kidnapping, has found himself a regular place to stalk women.  Grape Street Wine bar in Downtown Summerlin hasn’t just allowed him to go in the place, but according to insiders, has invited him to be there even though he is a convicted felon and a danger to women.  Numerous photos of him trying to pick up women and socialize have been posted by concerned patrons.

We called Grape Street Wine Bar several times and spoke to employees and one guy who said he was the manager, but refused to give me his name.

One employee who didn’t want to be named told me point blank that she was “scared to work there” and that they employees have made it clear that they do not feel comfortable, but the management is “friendly” with OJ Simpson and doesn’t seem to care that he is drinking and getting drunk.

The manager at first refused to give comment, but after prodding him and telling him that his employees were concerned and that women were scared to even go to Downtown Summerlin knowing that a convicted felon might be trying to harm them, he opened up — but wasn’t nice.

He made it clear that OJ Simpson is allowed, and when I mentioned that women were scared and that I might come down to interview him and patrons, he said that he would kick anyone out that “has an issue with Simpson.”  When I mentioned that I was writing an article, and then introduced myself after his tirade against women and those who don’t like OJ, he hung up.

Reminder that OJ Simpson is also severely deranged, even according to the Kardashians when he threatened to kill himself at their house.

OJ said, “I’m going to kill myself in this room,” according to Robert Kardashian who responded, ‘You can’t.This is my daughter’s bedroom.”

“My little girl Kim sleeps here,” he pleaded. “I can’t have my little girl in this bedroom, and every time I come in here, I’m going to see your body lying in this. You can’t do that.”

 

 

 

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Crime

Ex-French president Nicolas Sarkozy arrested over campaign financing

Polipace Staff

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Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy is being held by police in connection to alleged campaign funding from late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Mr Sarkozy is being questioned as part of an investigation into “irregularities” in election campaign financing, a French court source told Reuters.

He is said to have accepted €50m from Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, claims which have been repeated by the late Libyan dictator’s son and French businessman Ziad Takieddine.

The amount would be more than double the legal spending limit in French elections at that time, which was €21m.

Alleged payments would also violate French laws on foreign financing and declaring the source of campaign funds.

Mr Sarkozy and his campaign manager have repeatedly denied accepting money from Libya.

According to Le Monde, this is the first time Mr Sarkozy has been questioned in relation to this investigation, which was opened in April 2013.

He can be held for up to 48 hours and presented to a magistrates’ court for indictment if police seek charges.

Mr Sarkozy has already been ordered to stand trial in a separate case, concerning the financing of his 2012 re-election campaign, when he lost to Francois Hollande.

In March 2011, Saif al Islam Gaddafi, the late dictator’s son, told Euronews: “Sarkozy has to give back the money he accepted from Libya to finance his electoral campaign. We financed his campaign and we have the proof…

“The first thing we’re demanding is that this clown gives back the money to the Libyan people.”

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