$187-Million worth cancer charity scam busted by feds
It is a sad day when a man has to wake up to the news that not even the unfortunate victims of a disease that has been claiming near and dear ones with nearly no surefire cure in sight, are also targeted by scammers and con men. Indeed that was the news that the US of A woke up to, when federal agents cracked down on no less than four well-known cancer charity organizations that had accumulated a sum of $187 million by striking a soft spot in the hearts of unsuspecting donors.
1 Wolf in the Sheep Skin
Truly, it is a sad day when you wake up to the news that not even patients who are clinging on to the thread of life in hopes of another session of life session chemotherapy, are safe from the finger-smiths hiding in plain sight.
A handful of cancer charities, that went by the names of Cancer Fund of America, Cancer Support Services, the Breast Cancer Society, and the Children’s Cancer Fund of America, in a blitzkrieg move by the federal agents along with the attorney general of each of the 50 states, have been charged of paying only a negligible percentage of the donations that they had accrued cumulatively in the course of the years 2008 through 2012. All these cancer charities were fronted by members and extended family members of the same family. The charities siphoned money from unsuspecting individuals under the pretext of providing direct financial support especially to children and women across the country, stricken with cancer.
2 The Shot Below the Belt
The Federal Trade Commission also jumped into the fray to assist in bringing up the charges against the accused enterprises. Jessica Rich of the offices of the Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection claimed that nearly 97% of the total money amassed over the four years under the guile of aiding cancer patients in paying treatment bills and medicine, was laundered away by the culprits. Only a meagre 3% of donations went for the cancer patients.
This is where the details get even uglier. Apparently, the culprits also ensured that not a single action on their bad contributed to the wellbeing of cancer patients in any way. They provided patients with counterfeit medicine, outdated drugs and expired food that only made the condition of the health of some patients even worse!
3 Cold Blooded Mammals
The lies have just started to the multi-million scam that was preached across the white picket fences and porches of America as the slogan went “on the forefront for the fight against cancer.” The Cancer Fund of America was fronted by James Reynolds, Sr. and the Breast Cancer Society was managed by his son James Reynolds, Jr. The Children’s Cancer Fund of America was managed by James Reynolds Sr.’s ex-spouse, Rose Perkins. The 4th charity was also overseen by Reynolds, Sr. The funds amassed by the trio in exchange of prayers and good wishes sold on the back of pink ribbons was spent on luxurious jet ski outings, gym memberships, dating website memberships, college tuition bills, concert and sporting event tickets and more, as confirmed by evidence accumulated from the financial records of the enterprises.
Extensive investigative journalism by CNN revealed that the family spent 3% of the money buying expired medication and food for patients, and laundered the rest via fake subsidiaries and such. They claimed it was invested in cancer drives in foreign lands, and the rest was being distributed by offshore banking accounts as per the wishes of the cancer patients. The dirty yarn rolls farther and reveals that not only were all of these banking reports fake, but in order to keep up appearances, Reynolds, Jr. brought onboard his in-laws and turned the entire charity charade into a family business!
4 As the levee breaks
It is commendable that the do-gooders have finally come through with their duty and infiltrated a national scale fraud ring, but the fact remains that they were 3 decades late. Reynolds, Sr. had broken bad way back in the late 80s when he was caught transferring ownership of an SUV that was auctioned for cancer charity, under his name! Two of the fraudulent enterprises have been shut down and Reynolds, Sr. has gone ahead and dismissed the charges brought up against him. However, Reynolds, Sr. has been charged with a fine to the tune of $75, 000 for his actions. Various assets of the family had to be sold off to make up for the absence of the lump sum supposed charity money.
Rosa Perkins on the other hand, has already declared bankruptcy or to put it precisely ‘unable to return the court instructed amount’ which makes for further reason to liquidate the assets. To make a cynic out of every hopeful cancer patient and individual who has lost loved ones to cancer, Reynolds, Jr. went on record and posted the message on one of the enterprise’s website that “While the organization, its officers, and directors have not been found guilty of any allegations of wrong doing, and the government has not proven otherwise, 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.”