NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a $3.1 million court decision Wednesday against a professional fundraising firm and its principal for allegedly defrauding the public out of millions of dollars.
Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice Emily Pines issued the decision against Campaign Center Inc. and Garrett Morgan, the company's principal, for allegedly using a sham charity, Coalition Against Breast Cancer, to defraud the public in the name of fighting breast cancer. The decision will provide $3,094,246 in restitution to affected individuals and $12,345 to Schneiderman's office for attorney and court costs.
Combined with a $1.55 million judgment reached in April against Campaign Center's board, Schneiderman's office secured more than $4.6 million in restitution in the matter.
"Charitable fundraising scams are among the lowest of the low," Schneiderman said. "They defraud the public and divert valuable funds away from important causes - in this case the fight against breast cancer. As this decision demonstrates, New York fundraisers will be held accountable when they defraud the public to line their own pockets. Professional fundraisers are prohibited by law from deceiving or misleading donors to raise funds, and my office will continue to use its powers to ensure honesty and integrity in the field of charitable giving."
In June 2011, Schneiderman's office sued Campaign Center, Morgan, CABC and CABC's directors for allegedly violating state not-for-profit and charitable fundraising laws. The defendants allegedly exploited breast cancer as a national charitable cause and made false claims about the services and activities it provided. The organization allegedly directed virtually none of the funds it raised to fighting breast cancer.
In May, Schneiderman's office obtained a court decision that shut down Campaign Center and barred Morgan from future charitable fundraising in the state.