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Post date: June 24 2004

Syracuse Area Fund Raiser Pleads Guilty

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that a Syracuse-area fund raiser has pleaded guilty to acting as a professional fund raiser on behalf of charitable organizations without registering with the Attorney General.

Dominic J. D'Alfonso, 59, a North Syracuse resident, owner of Upstate Telemarketing, Inc., of Liverpool, New York, pleaded guilty on June 23, before Salina Town Court Justice Andrew J. Piraino.

D'Alfonso violated the state Executive Law pertaining to professional fund raising requirements by causing Upstate to solicit for donations on behalf of at least four charitable organizations after Upstate's registration as a professional fund raiser had expired. D'Alfonso continued fund raising despite repeated notifications from the Attorney General's office that he needed to register and that his continued soliciting without registering was unlawful.

In addition to Upstate Telemarketing, D'Alfonso served as president of three registered professional fund raisers during successive periods starting in 1988, including: DRD Enterprises, Inc.; D.J. D'Alfonso & Associates, Inc.; and Deborah A. Daley & Associates, Inc. Daley & Associates was a defendant in a 1997 suit by the Attorney General for solicitation fraud that resulted in D'Alfonso's entering into a consent decree requiring him to comply with state charities law and registration requirements.

"Flagrant disregard of our registration requirements will not be tolerated, particularly by repeat offenders," said Spitzer. "As a result of the plea agreement Mr. D'Alfonso will be precluded from participating in any further solicitations of New York residents."

D'Alfonso pleaded guilty to one count of acting as an unregistered professional fund raiser, a class "A" misdemeanor. Justice Piraino sentenced D'Alfonso to a conditional discharge and imposed a $100 fine.

As part of the plea agreement reached with the Attorney General, both D'Alfonso and Upstate have also agreed to the entry of an order precluding both from ever soliciting charitable funds from New York residents or participating in solicitations in any way.

The case was handled by Assistant Attorneys General Maria Moran of the Syracuse Regional Office and Timothy B. Lennon of the Charities Bureau. The case was supervised by Winthrop Thurlow, head of the Syracuse office, and William Josephson, head of the Charities