Kansas man who fabricated law enforcement charity must repay money collected
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - After it was found a Kansas man had fabricated a charity meant to support law enforcement agencies, he was ordered to give the money he collected to a real organization and was banned from doing business in the state.
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says a Kansas City, Kan., man and his bogus charity which falsely claimed to raise funds for law enforcement have been banned from doing business in the Sunflower State. The man and his charity have also agreed to turn over $10,000 they illegally raised to a legitimate Wyandotte Co. organization.
AG Schmidt said William Storms III and his organization, Kansas City FOP #1 Fund, are now banned from operating as a charity in Kansas. He said the organization was not associated with the actual Fraternal Order of Police or any other law enforcement organization.
Schmidt also said Storms agreed to hand over $10,000 he raised to the Bonner Springs Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 65 - a legitimately operating Kansas FOP.
Lastly, the AG said the defendants will also reimburse his office for the cost of the investigation. He said Wyandotte Co. District Judge William Mahoney approved the consent judgment on May 12.
Schmidt said investigators from his office’s Consumer Protection Division found Storms operated an unregistered charity from Nov. 1, 2020, until Feb. 8, 2021 and solicited and collected donations for supposed charitable purposes.
Schmidt also said Storms used the FOP name without authority which misled and confused donors as the intended recipient of the contributions. He said most charities who solicit donations in Kansas are required to register with the AG under the Kansas Charitable Organization and Solicitation Act.
The AG urged Kansans to do their homework before they donate to a charity and offered the following tips to keep in mind:
- Ask for written information, including how much of the money raised is actually used for charitable purposes and how much will end up in the hands of the professional fundraiser.
- Be careful with telemarketers requesting contributions - oftentimes the telemarketer keeps a substantial portion of the donation.
- Do not be pressured into making a contribution or pledge.
- Do not feel obligated to send a donation to charities that send token gifts such as key chains, greeting cards, mailing labels, etc.
- Make certain the charitable organization actually serves the need it claims to serve.
- Ask for the financial statements of the organization to determine who will benefit from the donations.
- Make a personal giving plan and support well-established charities on your terms, not in response to marketing solicitations.
- Check out the charity at www.kscharitycheck.org to assess whether it is registered to solicit in Kansas and to see important aspects of its financial filings, including how much of any money you give will be spent on the charity’s overhead expenses rather than going to support the charitable purpose, such as disaster-relief efforts. However, note that some charities are exempt by law from registration.
For a full copy of the consent judgment, click HERE.
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