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Leader Agrees To Shut Down Phony Cancer Charties

Posted at 10:13 PM, Mar 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-30 23:13:36-04
A Tennessee man was banned from charity fundraising for life after investigators shut down multiple fake cancer charities that stole millions meant for patients.
 
Wednesday, James Reynolds Sr., settled the case against him and two of his phony charities with the help of prosecutors and regulators from all 50 states. 
 
Investigators across the country said for years the Cancer Fund of America and off-shoots of the charity like Cancer Support Services made calls and sent mailers asking for donations.
 
"Your generous donation went a long way  to help cancer patients about directly with their medications and hospice care," said one telemarketer in a recorded phone call.
 
But it was all a complete scam. An estimated two percent of money raised went to cancer patients.
 
"The investigation uncovered that a majority of this money was simply going in to the folks who ran these organizations or their friends or toward lavish vacations," said Tennessee Secretary of State spokesperson Adam Ghassemi, "it never went to cancer patients."
 
Starting in Knoxville with Reynolds, the charities spawned the country often run by his family and friends. They took in $187 million from 2008 to 2012.
 
However, on Wednesday, documents showed Reynolds cut his year-long legal battle short, settling with a lifetime ban from fundraising and giving back items like art, statues, collector beer steins and even a pontoon boat.
 
"It really cuts the snakes head off and it stops it, and it ensures they will not be able to prey on people any more," Ghassemi said.
 
Two of the charities folded last year. And finally the other two are liquidated, but other charities worry about the ripple effect of the nationwide investigation.
 
"It really gives all the legitimate organizations in our community a bad name and it shouldn't," said Les Fout with Provision CARES Foundation.
 
"It is sad because there are a lot of wonderful nonprofits out there doing great work," said Chris Martin with the Alliance for Better Non-Profits.
 
The Secretary of State's office would not say if Reynolds could face jail time. According to the settlement if they find out he's hiding any money from them, his judgment will be suspended and he'll personally be responsible for paying $75 million.