Four charities accused of bilking donors out of millions


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi along with the Federal Trade Commission and law enforcement from every state and the District of Columbia have charged four cancer charities with bilking more than $187 million from donors.


The charities at the center of the federal court complaint are Cancer Fund of America, Children’s Cancer Fund of America, Cancer Support Services and The Breast Cancer Society. In the complaint they are accused of telling donors their money would help cancer patients including women and children, but the government alleges that the overwhelming majority of donations went to the defendants, their families and friends and to pay for certain fundraisers. Attorney General Pam Bondi sent us this statement:

“To prey on the good intentions of generous people wishing to help those suffering from cancer is utterly disgraceful and will not be tolerated in Florida. The millions of dollars in donations these individuals took from well-meaning donors could have been used to fund cancer research and comfort those suffering from this terrible disease. Instead, these shameless defendants personally profited from these donations.”

The government accuses the charities of spending more on salaries than on helping cancer patients.


The complaint also accuses the charities of wrongly reporting their financial statements making it look like they were much larger and more efficient with their donors’ money.

According to the Florida Attorney General’s office the defendants, “violated state and federal laws, including the Florida Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act, by misrepresenting that contributions donated by consumers would be used for charitable purposes, misrepresenting the specific program benefits resulting from the donations, misrepresenting revenue and program expenses related to international GIK, and misrepresenting that the primary focus of their reported programs was to provide direct assistance to individuals in the United States.”


The Breast Cancer Society, Children’s Cancer Fund of America, and three individuals entered into a settlement totaling $137 million.


Before donating to any charity, make sure you do your homework. Here are links to websites that can help you with your donation decisions.

Federal Trade Commission recommendations on charity donations and how to recognize scams

Click here to check if a charity is registered with the state of Florida

Search charities on the IRS website

These sites rate and evaluate charities:


Charity Navigator

BBB Wise Giving Alliance


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