Colorado-based charity faces lawsuit over asset misuse

Bryan Cohen Mar. 23, 2012, 2:00pm


DENVER (Legal Newsline) - Colorado Attorney General John Suthers filed a lawsuit Thursday against a Fort Collins-based charity, its founder and several of the charity's board members for allegedly misusing the charity's assets.

Full Spirit Ministries also allegedly made misrepresentations when it solicited donations. The lawsuit, filed in Larimer County District Court, alleges that the charity told consumers that their donations would be used to help the homeless, when they were actually used to pay the president's personal expenses. Richard M. Thebo, the company's founder, CEO and president, allegedly improved his home with the donations and justified the practice by claiming it was a halfway house.

Most of the homeless individuals living with Thebo at his home were allegedly his female companions. In addition, Darren Thebo, Richard M. Thebo's son and a board member of Full Spirit Ministries, allegedly used charitable assets to purchase tools for his construction business, Thebo Construction, LLC. Darren Thebo has been named as one of the defendants in the lawsuit.

Full Spirit Ministries, which also does business as Open Door Mission, allegedly misrepresented the services it provided to the homeless, including how many individuals it housed and fed. The charity allegedly made the misrepresentations on its website and in its monthly newsletter.

Full Spirit Ministries and its principles have allegedly misused at least $31,000 in charitable assets. The charity is not associated with any religious organization or church.

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