A.G. Underwood Announces Settlement With Scam Veterans' Charity
News from the New York Attorney General's Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 29, 2018
Attorney General’s Press Office / 212-416-8060
A.G. UNDERWOOD ANNOUNCES SETTLEMENT WITH SCAM VETERANS’ CHARITY
Wounded Warriors Foundation of Orange County, Inc. Illegally Collected Thousands of Dollars in Raffle Tickets Without Ever Conducting a Raffle
ORANGE COUNTY – Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood announced a settlement agreement with the Wounded Warriors Foundation of Orange County, Inc. (“WWFOC”) for illegally collecting thousands of dollars in raffle tickets without ever conducting a raffle. WWFOC must immediately dissolve and pay $4,200 in restitution to the consumers it defrauded.
“New Yorkers should be confident that their charitable donations are going to legitimate organizations that will use these funds to carry out the mission they advertise,” said Attorney General Underwood. “Our office will hold accountable organizations that break the law and take advantage of the public’s generosity.”
The Wounded Warriors Foundation of Orange County, Inc. – not affiliated with the national Wounded Warrior Project – sold raffle tickets at $50 per ticket to members of the public and claimed that the raffle’s grand prize was a new 2016 Ford Focus. WWFOC also claimed that all proceeds would go toward purchasing mobility and lift equipment for veterans who had suffered severe injuries while serving in the United States’ armed forces. The organization raised $4,200 from its raffle ticket sales. However, after collecting the money for raffle tickets, WWFOC never actually conducted a raffle.
Upon receiving complaints from consumers who had purchased raffle tickets, the Attorney General’s Office launched an investigation into the organization and its founder, Sean B. McCarthy. The investigation revealed that – despite holding itself out as a charitable organization supporting wounded veterans and soliciting donations from the public – the organization was not a legitimate not-for-profit corporation. None of the proceeds of the raffle ticket sales went toward supporting wounded veterans.
The settlement agreement requires the Wounded Warriors Foundation of Orange County, Inc. to either immediately dissolve or properly register as a not-for-profit corporation with the Attorney General’s Office. Founder Sean B. McCarthy paid $4,200 in victim restitution, and must also pay $250 in civil penalties and a $5,000 bond.
This case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Stephen Barry and Investigators Stephanie Brideau and Adrienne DeGaetano, under the supervision of Assistant Attorney General in Charge Jill Faber, all of the Poughkeepsie Regional Office. The Division of Regional Affairs is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Marty Mack.