Three Long Island Sham Charities Shut Down With $500,000 Settlement

February 4, 2014 Updated: February 5, 2014

Three charities based in Long Island collected a total $2.2 million in donations with hardly any going to charitable causes, according to an investigation by the Attorney General’s Charities Bureau.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said his office reached a $500,000 settlement with the three charities that will be paid by the charity heads, the owner of the fundraiser, Mure Associates, and accounting firm, Portfolio Planners.

Prosecutors said the so-called charities worked under the names: Bi-County Helpline for Abuse Against Women and Children, Long Island Responds, and Breast Cancer Funds for Research.

Investigators found that Bi-County Helpline, apparently a crisis helpline for victims of domestic violence, had a number that went through to one of the charity heads, Lynne Speciale’s home; no one at the home had any training or experience in helping victims of domestic violence or had any records of helping victims.

Schneiderman said, “Operators of sham charities like these prey on the generosity of New Yorkers and must be held accountable.”

 

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