LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Legal Newsline) – Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced a settlement on Tuesday with a New Jersey-based charity that allegedly misled Arkansas donors.
The National Police Defense Foundation (NPDF) retained USA Publishing Group Inc. to solicit donations from Arkansas consumers. NPDF raised $231,004 in Arkansas, but the charity allegedly paid $171,193 of the money raised to USA Publishing for its professional fundraising services.
McDaniel filed a lawsuit against NPDF and USA Publishing in July 2013 alleging only $500 raised from Arkansans went to charity. The suit also alleged telemarketers misrepresented themselves as first responders and used fake names to deceive consumers into believing the charity was based in Arkansas.
“NPDF has been identified as one of the nation’s 50 worst charities, and the organization demonstrated its failings in Arkansas through its deceptive efforts to make consumers believe their money was going to police officers, firefighters and other emergency responders,” McDaniel said. “Of the thousands of dollars raised here by NPDF and its fundraising partner, only a few hundred dollars were actually used for charitable purposes.”
Under the terms of a consent judgment, NPDF agreed to pay $120,000 in consumer restitution and to permanently stop all professional fundraising activities in Arkansas. NPDF denied the allegations as part of the agreement.