COLUMBUS, Ohio — Five people were ordered to pay a combined $190,000 in civil penalties after setting up “charities” with names that mimicked reputable charities, according to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.
A Franklin County Common Pleas judge banned five people that took part in eight different fake “charities” from associating with any charitable organization in the future, a release from Yost’s office says.
The judge also ordered that the articles of incorporation be canceled for the eight groups:
- American Cancer Society of Cincinnati Inc.
- American Cancer Society of Cleveland Inc.
- American Cancer Society of Ohio Inc.
- American Cancer Foundation of Cincinnati Inc.
- American Cancer Foundation of Cleveland Inc.
- American Cancer Foundation of Ohio Inc.
- American Cancer Foundation of Columbus Inc.
- United Way of Ohio Inc.
The five individuals listed in the lawsuit include Ian Hosang, Jomar Holmes, Rhett McIntosh, Jusith Culzac and Claudia Stephen.
The defendants are banned from incorporating, organizing, or serving in any fiduciary capacity for a charitable organization, Yost’s office says.
“These scammers were pretending to be big-time charities to swindle money from Ohioans,” Yost said. “But playtime is over, and the jig is up on your sham operation.”
Additional legal action was taken against Hosang in Michigan, Washington, New York and other states where he allegedly set up dozens of similar fake charities.
- Check whether a charity is in compliance with Ohio’s registration requirements.
- Review a charity’s annual reports to see how it spends your donations.
- See whether the charity employs professional fundraisers and finding out what percentage of donations actually goes to charity.
- Review tips for safe giving.