KANSAS CITY, Kan. (KSNW) — A Kansas City, Kansas, man operating a fraudulent charity has been ordered to turn over $10,000 in funds that were illegally raised, the Attorney General’s office said on Friday.
William Storms III, who operated an organization called “Kansas City Fraternal Order of Police #1 Fund,” has been banned from operating as a charity in the state of Kansas.
According to a news release from the AG’s office, the organization was not associated with the actual Fraternal Order of Police or any other law enforcement organization.
The $10,000 they raised will be given to the Bonner Springs Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 65, which the AG’s office says is a legitimate operating Kansas Fraternal Order of Police.
Additionally, Storms will also reimburse the attorney general’s office for the cost of the investigation. The judgment was approved by a Wyandotte County District Judge on May 12.
Investigators determined that Storms operated an unregistered charity from Nov. 15, 2020, until Feb. 8, 2021, soliciting and collecting donations for supposed charitable purposes. Storms also used the Fraternal Order of Police name without authority, which officials say misled or confused donors as to the intended recipient of the contributions.
The AG’s office offered tips to keep in mind when making charitable contributions:
- Ask for written information, including how much of the money raised is actually used for charitable purposes and how much will end up in the hands of the professional fundraiser.
- Be careful with telemarketers requesting contributions – oftentimes the telemarketer keeps a substantial portion of the donation.
- Do not be pressured into making a contribution or pledge.
- Do not feel obligated to send a donation to charities that send token gifts such as key chains, greeting cards, mailing labels, etc.
- Make certain the charitable organization actually serves the need it claims to serve.
- Ask for the financial statements of the organization to determine who will benefit from the donations.
- Make a personal giving plan and support well-established charities on your terms, not in response to marketing solicitations.
- Check out the charity at www.kscharitycheck.org to assess whether it is registered to solicit in Kansas and to see important aspects of its financial filings, including how much of any money you give will be spent on the charity’s overhead expenses rather than going to support the charitable purpose, such as disaster-relief efforts. However, note that some charities are exempt by law from registration.