Ark. AG alleges charity was a scam

Keith Loria Feb. 28, 2011, 2:19am


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Legal Newsline) - Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced on Monday that he has filed a lawsuit against a Florida-based company and its owner alleging that they defrauded state consumers with a charity scam.

Children and Family Services and Gary Ray Tomey II, its owner, allegedly had solicitors tell people that money donated to the charity would be used to sponsor disabled children in athletic events, for granting wishes for terminally ill children and for helping to fund women shelters in Arkansas.

McDaniel alleges that the company used deceptive and misleading tactics to solicit charitable contributions in the state. Allegedly, only $325 from the more than $50,000 the company collected was donated to well-known charities. Most of the money was allegedly directed to fund Tomey's telemarketing enterprise and to compensate Tomey himself.

"Everything in this company's fundraising program was designed to deceive and mislead Arkansans into believing they were helping disadvantaged children and adults," McDaniel said. "This defendant used the plight of our state's most vulnerable citizens as a ploy to line his own pockets. These kinds of actions are unacceptable."

The lawsuit alleges that the company violated provisions of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. It also failed to register as a charity with the attorney general's office, which is required by law, McDaniel says.

"Fundraising organizations in Arkansas are required to register with our office, and any Arkansans unsure about the legitimacy of such an operation should contact us," McDaniel said.

The company allegedly had no offices in Arkansas and used no Arkansas employees. McDaniel alleges that the company was designed specifically with an address in Little Rock to deceive those in the state to believe they were helping their own. Instead, all of the money collected was allegedly forwarded to the Florida headquarters of the organization, he says.

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