Spitzer Announces Eight Area Charities To Share In $160,000 Recovered By A.G.'s Office

Attorney General Spitzer announced today that eight New York City area charities will share in $160,000 that his office recovered from the directors of a now-defunct foundation.

The money represents a settlement between the Attorney General's office and the late M. Peter Schweitzer and his former wife, Winnie Schweitzer. The pair had been the directors of the Peter J. Schweitzer Foundation. The Foundation was formed in 1950 by Mr. Schweitzer's father, a paper magnate, who eventually sold the family business to Kimberly-Clark.

The Attorney General's office, through its Charities Bureau, filed suit against the Schweitzers in December, 1997 after it discovered that the pair had abandoned the operation of the Foundation and that $661,000 in assets was missing.

The Schweitzers, who by now were divorced, blamed each other for misappropriating the Foundation's assets. During the course of the investigation, the Schweitzers each filed for bankruptcy.

Shortly before the case was to go to trial in April, both Mr. and Mrs. Schweitzer reached a settlement with the Attorney General's office under which they agreed to make payments into a settlement fund and dissolve the Foundation.

"As a result of this settlement, charities serving, among others, the sick, elderly and those with AIDS, will receive badly needed funding," said Spitzer. "My office is committed to ensuring that all charitable foundations are run honestly, and that those individuals entrusted to run these groups are held accountable for their actions."

Recently, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Herman Cahn designated the eight charities that will receive the settlement proceeds and the amount that each will receive:

  • Aids Service of Lower Manhattan ($25,000)
  • Self Help Community Service (Alzheimer's programs) ($25,000)
  • Columbia Presbyterian Hospital ($15,000)
  • Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation, Suffern, N.Y. ($15,000)
  • Hadassah (pulmonary research) ($15,000)
  • City Meals on Wheels ($15,000)
  • Yeshiva Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch ($25,000)
  • Yeshiva University ($25,000)

The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Robert Piggot, under the supervision of the head of the Charities Bureau, William Josephson.