COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline) - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced on Wednesday that he obtained a preliminary injunction against a Cleveland-area charity and its owner after allegedly failing to use the money raised for charitable purposes.
TEEN USA and Darien Smith, the charity's owner, allegedly violated the terms of a November assurance of discontinuance in which Smith agreed to dissolve the charity, not hold any position in or participate in soliciting donations in Ohio and pay $10,000 to DeWine's office. Smith allegedly failed to dissolve the organization and failed to pay DeWine's office.
TEEN USA sent teens door-to-door selling candy to purportedly raise money for low-income individuals, sports teams and schools. Smith allegedly let some of the teens keep the money for themselves while keeping a larger portion of the money himself.
Smith and TEEN USA allegedly continue to actively solicit in the Cleveland area.
"I urge anyone in Ohio, and particularly in the greater Cleveland area, who witnesses a solicitation from TEEN USA to immediately call the attorney general's office at 1-800-282-0515 to report it," DeWine said.
A Franklin County judge granted a preliminary injunction ordering Smith and TEEN USA to immediately cease all acts of solicitation for any charitable purpose. The order also freezes all associated personal and business bank accounts.