Leukemia charity used less than 1 percent of funds for patients, claims suit

The New York Attorney General’s office filed a lawsuit Monday against the National Children’s Leukemia Foundation (NCLF), with the goal of shutting down the organization and recovering funds raised through fraudulent representations, USA Today reported.

The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based organization claims to be one of the leading groups “in the battle against leukemia and cancer in children and adults,” according to their Facebook page. And the organization’s website lists the "Make a Dream Come True" program as a way to fulfill “the wishes of young cancer patients, arranging family trips, tours, introductions to celebrities and other requests."

According to the lawsuit, roughly 83 percent of the nearly $10 million the NCLF raised from 2009 to 2013 was paid to professional fundraisers. Additionally, less than one percent— $57,541— went to direct assistance for leukemia patients.

The NCLF founder, Zvi Shor, was paid nearly $600,000 in salary plus $612,844 in deferred compensation awards and more than $100,000 in pension, USA Today reported. Shor, 64, “nominally resigned” his post five years ago after being questioned about his 1999 felony conviction for bank fraud, the court petition stated.

The petition also stated that NCLF transferred $655,000 to a shell organization— run by Shor’s sister— allegedly for research purposes.

"Nothing is more shameful than pocketing millions of dollars donated by good-hearted people who just wanted to help children afflicted with a terminal illness," said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

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