AG Sues "Sham" Breast Cancer Charity

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2011  |  Updated 5:31 PM EDT
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AG Sues "Sham" Breast Cancer Charity

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New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has filed a lawsuit to shut down what he calls a sham charity on Long Island that fraudulently raised $9.1 million over five years while spending more than 95 percent of the money on itself.

The attorney general's office says the Coalition Against Breast Cancer used the money to pay exorbitant fundraiser fees, unjustified salaries and benefits packages, and for personal goods like cell phones and TV services.

The lawsuit claims the coalition and its for-profit fundraiser, Campaign Center, violated state not-for-profit and charitable solicitations laws, making false claims about activities and services.

Schneiderman says investigators found that in 2008, the group raised more than $1.4 million and spent only $374 on mammograms.

A lawyer for the charity said in a statement that the Coalition Against Breast Cancer was "more than disappointed" about the lawsuit, and said its representatives have been in discussions with officials, "trying to address the issues raised by the state."

It said it is "far from a sham organization."

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