Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office Obtains Preliminary Injunction Against Police Charity and Its Professional Solicitors
Under the terms of the first stipulated preliminary injunction, entered by Judge John C. Cratsley in Suffolk Superior Court yesterday, Disabled Police Officers Counseling Center, Inc., is restrained from engaging in deceptive practices or otherwise breaking the law while soliciting charitable donations in Massachusetts; must not destroy or alter records while the civil lawsuit is pending; and must account for money raised from Massachusetts residents in the next 30 days.
Under the terms of the second preliminary injunction, also filed by Judge Cratsley yesterday in Suffolk Superior Court, the professional solicitors involved in the lawsuit are restrained from engaging in deceptive tactics when soliciting funds in Massachusetts; must not destroy or alter records while the civil lawsuit is pending; and are prohibited from spending funds collected for the Disabled Police Officers Counseling Center, Inc., or any other charitable organization the defendants solicit for.
The preliminary injunctions were filed in conjunction with a civil lawsuit that was filed on May 20, 2009 in Suffolk Superior Court against the defendants. The lawsuit alleges the defendants misled potential donors into believing that fundraisers were volunteers calling on behalf of local disabled police officers. The lawsuit also alleges that the defendants did not disclose their status as professional fundraisers, did not disclose the charity's Florida address, and did not file fundraising reports for their fundraising campaigns, all of which are required by law.
The lawsuit also alleges the professional solicitors working for Disabled Police Officers Counseling Center failed to disclose to potential donors their status as professional fundraisers who are paid by charitable organizations to solicit the public for donations.
The Attorney General's Office, through its Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division, is responsible for overseeing the public's interest in the Commonwealth's non-profit charitable organizations. Massachusetts general laws require public charities to register and file annual reports with the Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division of the Office of the Attorney General and copies of these reports are available to the public.
This case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Sandra Cardone of Attorney General Coakley's Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division.