Hawaii AG says charity violating laws

Keith Loria Mar. 8, 2011, 2:19am


HONOLULU (Legal Newsline) - Hawaii Attorney General David Louie has announced that he has filed a lawsuit against a charity and its owner for allegedly violating numerous charitable solicitation laws.

Anthony M. Marasia, doing business as Love the Animals, allegedly solicited donations by using social networking sites such as Facebook, claiming that the donations would be used to take care of animals.

The lawsuit alleges that the company misrepresented where the money would go, misinformed people that the donations were tax deductible and did not have the proper paperwork filed to solicit as a charity in the state.

The suit further alleges that all of the funds donated were put in Marasia's private bank account and that there are no records that show how the money was used to help the animals or for any other humane purposes.

"Donors want to be sure their contributions benefit the causes they support, but unfortunately some false charities try to take advantage of consumers' goodwill and generosity," Louie said.

"We encourage donors to make informed decisions about their charitable giving, and we will continue to vigorously enforce the laws that help protect them."

Louie is seeking an injunction against the defendants to keep it from collecting any further funds. The attorney general also wants restitution for anyone tricked into donating, the assessment of civil penalties and for the company to pay all costs associated with the litigation.

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