DENVER - The Colorado attorney general says the man behind Boobies Rock and Say No 2 Cancer misled donors and customers around the country into thinking more of their money was going to breast cancer charities.
Attorney General John Suthers has filed a complaint saying Adam Cole Shryock only sent a little bit of money to legitimate cancer groups while using funds to buy a BMW, subscribe to an online dating service, and pay bar tabs.
"Shryock misled thousands of consumers in Colorado and across the country into believing they were supporting breast cancer-related charities," said Suthers. "In reality, very little of the money collected went to legitimate cancer groups as Shryock tapped those funds to buy himself a BMW, subscribe to an online dating service, and pay his bar and cleaning service tabs."
The complaint alleges that defendants would hold promotions all over the country, mostly in bars, and hire promotional models to "take donations" on behalf of Boobies Rock, saying the company was raising money for breast cancer nonprofit groups. The models would sell T-shirts, beer koozies, bracelets and other items with pro-breast or anti-cancer images and/or slogans.
"While the story line evolved over time, at the core the models told bar owners and customers that a significant percentage of their 'donations' would go to cancer-related charities -- anywhere from 40 to 90 percent. According to the complaint, none of the legitimate organizations on whose behalf defendants claimed to raise funds had authorized those fundraising efforts, and none of them ever received a charitable donation until they threatened to sue Shryock for fraud.
"Shryock passed through the absolute bare minimum to a series of legitimate nonprofit charities to keep his scheme alive," Suthers said. "Moreover, the IRS has no record of awarding tax-exempt status to a company he launched in January 2013, Say No2 Cancer. This case is an important example why consumers should be wary of unsolicited charitable appeals and do their homework before they give to any purported charity."
Boobies Rock Inc. and Say No 2 Cancer have disabled their websites since a Denver judge issued a temporary restraining order last week restricting operations.
The Colorado complaint follows similar investigations by attorneys general in Indiana and Illinois.