Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood today announced a settlement agreement with the Wounded Warriors Foundation of Orange County, Inc. for illegally collecting thousands of dollars in raffle tickets without ever conducting a raffle.
According to the State AG, the Wounded Warriors Foundation of Orange County, Inc. – not affiliated with the national Wounded Warrior Project – sold raffle tickets at $50 per ticket to members of the public and claimed that the raffle’s grand prize was a new 2016 Ford Focus. The group also claimed that all proceeds would go toward purchasing mobility and lift equipment for veterans who had suffered severe injuries while serving in the United States’ armed forces. The organization raised $4,200 from its raffle ticket sales. However, after collecting the money for raffle tickets, the group never conducted a raffle.
Upon receiving complaints from consumers who had purchased raffle tickets, the Attorney General’s Office launched an investigation into the organization and its founder, Sean B. McCarthy. The investigation revealed that the organization was not a legitimate not-for-profit corporation. None of the proceeds of the raffle ticket sales went toward supporting wounded veterans.
The settlement agreement requires the Wounded Warriors Foundation of Orange County, Inc. to either immediately dissolve or properly register as a not-for-profit corporation with the Attorney General’s Office. McCarthy paid $4,200 in victim restitution, and must also pay $250 in civil penalties and a $5,000 bond
“New Yorkers should be confident that their charitable donations are going to legitimate organizations that will use these funds to carry out the mission they advertise,” said Attorney General Underwood.“Our office will hold accountable organizations that break the law and take advantage of the public’s generosity.”