ST. PAUL, Minn. (Legal Newsline) – Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson announced that her office filed a lawsuit against Associated Community Services Inc. and one of its affiliates after allegations of sending false “pledge reminders” to donors and making other deceptive statements in an effort to solicit donations for a Michigan veterans charity.
"Donors need accurate information to make informed decisions. It's too bad this company resorted to sending fake pledge reminders and other deception," Swanson said.
The state charges that Associated Community Services Inc. would make fundraising calls to prospective donors and then send “pledge reminders” afterwards in the mail. These reminders would falsely indicate that the consumer had pledged to donate money. Additionally, the company purportedly targeted senior citizens, many of whom are on fixed incomes.
In one example, Associated Community Services allegedly called a Minnesota couple and claimed the couple had pledged $20 to a donation campaign. The couple then got pledge reminders and follow-up calls for weeks, according to Swanson’s office.
The attorney general’s office noted that Associated Community Services has an extensive history with regulatory enforcement actions for alleged misconduct in soliciting donations, with 10 prior settlements with regulators.