CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Legal Newsline) - West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw announced on Wednesday that his office has filed suit against three individuals who allegedly ran a charitable fundraising scam.
William S. Terry and Herbert L. Terry, both of Sandy Hook, Ky., and Vicky Perdue of Proctorville, Ohio, allegedly violated West Virginia consumer protection laws by defrauding hundreds of customers who were told their organization sold computers to raise money for autistic children.
The defendants allegedly marketed a supposed charity called Mikayla's Place, which they said was affiliated with Autism Speaks, a Delaware-based charity. Neither the defendants nor Mikayla's Place, however, were registered with the Secretary of State of West Virginia's office to solicit funds for a charity, which is required under West Virginia law, McGraw says.
The defendants allegedly told customers that the laptops they were selling were donated by corporate sponsors and that all money would benefit special needs children at a charitable camp. The computers were actually purchased from liquidation sales and surplus auctions, McGraw claims.
"Consumers must be wary of anyone who contacts them raising funds for any charitable organization," McGraw said.
"The law requires all charitable organizations and the people who solicit donations for them to register with the Secretary of State. Consumers should always contact the Secretary of State's office to ensure the organization is, in fact, a charity."