Attorney General accuses cancer charities of fraud

(AP file photo)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Attorney General Mark Herring accused four major cancer charities of bilking donors out of millions of dollars for years on Tuesday.

The case that has garnered so much attention, leaders from every single state and D.C. joined in the complaint, the Federal Trade Commission was apart of Tuesday’s announcement as well. To view the entire complaint, click HERE.

The four charities named in the complaint include Cancer Fund of America, Inc., Cancer Support Services, Inc., Children’s Cancer Fund of America, Inc. and The Breast Cancer Society, Inc.

Those charities and four individuals accused of  taking more than $187 million in donated funds and using it on things like cars, luxury cruises and even college tuition.

“It’s really mind boggling to me to think of a non profit misusing donors’ funds,” says Lisa Goodwin. She started a charity in Richmond to help families with kids battling cancer.

“When I hear Children’s Cancer Fund, that concerns me a lot, because I don’t want the negative impact that organization has to trickle down,” Goodwin told 8News anchor Ava-joye Burnett.

Tom Gallagher with the Better Business Bureau says people can use websites like Give.org and Guidestar.org to rate charities before making donations.

“Anything with cancer we might want to believe, anything with children, we might want to believe, be very sure that you check this out, you check that charity out,” says Gallagher.

Some of the people and organizations involved have agreed to settle, and two of the charities have been dissolved.

In a statement on the Breast Cancer Society’s website, the executive director wrote; “Our Board of Directors has decided that it does not help those who we seek to serve, and those who remain in need, for us to engage in a highly publicized, expensive, and distracting legal battle around our fundraising practices.”

To review a full copy of that organization’s statement, click here.

Stay with 8News for more on this developing story as it unfolds.

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