Cuomo files suit against car donation charity

Keith Loria Jun. 15, 2010, 11:40am


NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday that he has filed a lawsuit against a car donation charity for allegedly deceiving donors.

Nicholas Cascone Jr., the director of Feed the Hungry, Inc., is charged with soliciting donations of vehicles that were said to fund humanitarian causes while keeping the money for personal use.

Cuomo alleges that out of more than $430,000 that the company collected in donations between 2002-2009, less than $7,900 was used for charity.

"Nicholas Cascone and his Feed the Hungry organization promised to use donated vehicles to help the homeless but only ended up taking generous New Yorkers for a ride," Cuomo said.

"We remain concerned that similar practices may prevail in other organizations and will diligently work to root out any other sham charities. As we continue working to clean up this industry, we encourage generous New Yorkers to stay informed and to keep donating to worthy charities."

Cuomo alleges that the company intentionally made false claims, including misinformation about the number of meals it said it provided to the homeless.

Cuomo's lawsuit seeks to shut down Feed the Hungry, freeze its assets and hold Cascone liable for restitution and damages. He also seeks to prevent Cascone from serving as an officer or director of any not-for-profit in the future.

During the investigation, Cascone invoked his fifth amendment rights more than 150 times.

The lawsuit also charges Cascone with failing to provide even the most basic corporate and financial oversight of charitable assets.

Cuomo has also subpoenaed 16 other car donation charities, fundraisers and individuals in a search for similar incidents of misleading practices.

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