BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) - Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler announced an agreement on Monday with an unregistered Calvert County adoption charity that had allegedly represented itself as an authorized 501(c)(3) when soliciting contributions.
Under the terms of the agreement, the Huntingtown-based Chihuahua Cherubs must fully comply with the Maryland Solicitations Act or face $12,000 in civil penalties. The organization has already registered with the Office of the Secretary of State and must take concrete steps to improve how it depicts both its charitable status and its treatment of contributions to the public.
"Marylanders who open their wallets for a good cause deserve better than to be misled about the nature of the organization they're donating to," Gansler said. "The state's regulations governing nonprofit, tax-exempt status are in place to ensure that charities play by the rules and donors get reliable information from them."
In addition, Chihuahua Cherubs must significantly improve its charitable accounting and must submit quarterly copies of its charitable records with the Office of the Secretary of State for three years. If the organization fails to comply with the agreement, it must pay $12,000 in civil penalties and any state costs associated with enforcing the agreement.