Two cancer charities are being shut down, and their president is being banned from future charity work, according to Colorado Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman.
"Cancer Fund of America Inc. (CFA), Cancer Support Services Inc. (CSS), and their leader James Reynolds Sr. are being called one of the worst 'families' of charities ever prosecuted in the United States," according to Coffman's office.
Investigators believe more than $187 million was fraudulently raised by a total of four sham charities with only three cents of every dollar going to cancer patients and survivors. The other two sham charities settled last year.
Prosecutors said Reynolds and members of his family solicited millions in donations by promising the contributions would help pay for chemotherapy, hospice care, and other services for cancer patients. Instead, donations were used for the family's lavish lifestyle including luxury cars, boats, plane tickets, cruises and a family trip to Disneyland.
“This is about as bad as it gets,” said Coffman. “This extended family of crooks promised to help those struggling to overcome a catastrophic illness but instead pocketed six figure salaries. Though we will probably never recover the millions in stolen donations or in levied fines, we have been successful in shutting them down and preventing their theft of any more money from generous Coloradans."
Other defendants in this case were CFA’s and CSS’s chief financial officer and CSS’s former president, Kyle Effler; Children’s Cancer Fund of America Inc. (CCFOA) and its president and executive director, Rose Perkins; and The Breast Cancer Society Inc. (BCS) and its executive director and former president, James Reynolds II. Under settlement orders, Effler, Perkins and Reynolds II are banned from fundraising, charity management, and oversight of charitable assets, prosecutors said.
“Coloradans have big hearts and open up their wallets to help others in need. It is extremely important that their generosity not be taken advantage of by con artists posing as charities,” said Coffman.
To find out more about a specific charity, visit the Colorado Secretary of State’s website .