For Immediate Release - December 03, 2009

Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office Reaches Agreement with Adams Ambulance Service Inc.

BOSTON - Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office reached an agreement with Adams Ambulance Service Inc., of Adams, relating to the organization's failure to submit annual financial reports to the office's Public Charities Division for the years 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, and 2008 and for its failure to submit complete reports for years 2005 and 2006. Massachusetts General Laws require public charities to register and file annual reports with the Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division of the Attorney General's Office.

Under the agreement, the organization acknowledged that its record-keeping practices were inadequate and that it had failed to submit annual financial reports required under Massachusetts law for the purpose of providing the public with information regarding a charitable organization's financial activity. The governance agreement also requires the organization to come into filing compliance with the Attorney General's Office as soon as audited financial statements have been completed and reviewed by the organization's board of directors.

"When a charity continually fails to submit required annual financial statements to our office, it invites skepticism that charitable funds are being misused," said Attorney General Coakley. "Financial transparency is a critical part of our effort to ensure that non-profit charitable organizations are held fully accountable to the public they serve."

The agreement also requires Adams Ambulance to adopt and implement new financial policies and procedures that will ensure the organization's board has the ability to provide the oversight necessary to regularly review the financial condition and regulatory compliance of Adams Ambulance.

On April 9, 2009, Adams Ambulance was placed on the Attorney General's Office Non-Compliant Public Charities list, an online resource that includes organizations that may still be operating, but which have failed to register or file required reports after receiving multiple notices from the Attorney General's Office. The organization will be removed from the list once they have come into filing compliance with the office.

The Attorney General's Office has also recently filed legislation that would strengthen compliance requirements for charities and increase the penalties the office can levy against charities who do not comply with the law. An Act to Update Charities Laws was filed earlier this year and is pending in the Legislature. If passed, the amendments would make important and necessary changes to public charities laws and will provide the Attorney General's Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division with more civil authority to hold charities accountable and levy increased penalties to charities who do not comply with the law.

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.

This matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Green of Attorney General Coakley's Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division.