Clothing bin operator ordered to dump 50K

John O'Brien Jun. 12, 2009, 12:25pm


HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - A for-profit clothing bin company alleged to have represented itself as a charity has been ordered to pay $50,000 in a case brought by Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.

The $50,000 fine comes after more than four years of litigation against American Recycling Technologies of East Northport, N.Y. Hartford Superior Court Judge Robert Satter ordered the fine.

Blumenthal said the company displayed logos of charitable organizations on its bins, yet those groups only receive 10 percent of the bins' proceeds while American Recycling earns a profit of about 30 percent.

Blumenthal called it "reprehensible trickery."

"This company deceived consumers with clothing bins -- about 70 at a time -- that produced big profits and paltry charitable benefits," Blumenthal said. "Out of $2.7 million in revenues over five years, less than 10 percent went to any charity.

"Clothing bin operators beware: You cannot give away crumbs and keep the cake."

A new state law requires lettering at least two inches high on clothing bins stating whether donations benefit charities or not.

From 2002-2007, the company kept $827,179 in profit in more than 70 Connecticut bins.

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