Coakley settles with fundraisers
BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced on Tuesday that her office has obtained judgments against three professional solicitors who allegedly used deceptive statements to raise funds.
James Vincent, Patrick D. Kane Jr., and Mark Hemphill, all of Rhode Island, allegedly deceived Massachusetts residents by falsely telling them that they were soliciting funds for Massachusetts police.
Coakley filed a lawsuit against the three men in 2009, alleging that while raising funds on behalf of the Niceville, Fla.-based Disabled Police Officers Counseling Center Inc., people were led to believe that donations would support local police in Massachusetts.
The suit also alleged that the solicitors never disclosed to potential donors that they were paid fundraisers, which is required by state law. They also allegedly violated another state law by not disclosing DPOCC's Florida address and telephone number.
Under terms of the settlement agreements, Vincent must pay the state $101,725 in civil penalties, Kane must pay $16,000 in civil penalties, and Hemphill must pay $10,000 in civil penalties.
All three men are also permanently prohibited from engaging in any unfair or deceptive charitable solicitation practices in the state.
Coakley's office obtained a consent judgment against DPOCC itself in March for its alleged role in contracting with the men. As a result, the charity agreed to pay the state $1,000 for costs associated with the litigation and agreed not to conduct any business with the solicitors over the next 10 years. DPOCC also must not fundraise in the state for the next four years.