N.H. settles with fundraising company that failed to donate proceeds‏

By Nick Rees | Oct 13, 2009

CONCORD, N.H. (Legal Newsline) - A fundraising organization that allegedly failed to pay proceeds from the sales of donated cars to the charity specified by the car donors has agreed to a settlement with New Hampshire's attorney general.

Autos for Animals and its owner, Paul St. Louis, acting as a paid solicitor raising money for charitable purposes, are also alleged to have failed to register with the Director of Charitable Trusts, failed to post a required surety bond, failed to file notices for each fundraising campaign conducted, and failed to file a joint financial report at the end of each campaign, which is required by state law.

In disputing the allegations, Autos for Animals and St. Louis claimed that their business operations were distinct from those of a paid solicitor and argued that net proceeds had been paid to designated charities.

Autos for Animals agreed, under terms of the settlement, to obtain prior written permission for each Humane Society of charitable entity's name it intends to use on its websites, in its written materials, or in advertisements and solicitations. Any written permissions must then be provided to the Director of Charitable Trusts within ten days of the permission being granted.

The Director of Charitable Trusts must also be provided with an annual written report that lists the amount of net proceeds that each charitable organization was provided during the previous calendar year.

Autos for Animals must also state clearly what each charitable organizations will receive any net proceeds from the sale of a donated vehicle. Autos for Animals is allowed to deduct from the net proceeds any reasonable amount for auto repairs and the cost of selling the vehicle.

"We are satisfied with this settlement because it goes a long way in protecting the rights of charitable donors to ensure their donations go for the purposes they intend", Attorney General Michael Delaney said.

Under terms of the settlement, Autos for Animals and St. Louis did not admit liability or wrongdoing.

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