Ohio's Cops for Kids charity bilked donors out of $4.2M, state AG says

Cops for Kids, a charity that purports to help families or children who are victims of crimes, allegedly defrauded millions of dollars in donations, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday by the Ohio state Attorney General.

The lawsuit claims that between 2005 and 2015 the charity spent less than 2 percent of the $4.2 million it raised on actual charitable giving, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

Meanwhile, the organization allegedly paid founders Thomas Duffy and Charles Hitzel a combined $614,000, and Telcom Enterprises of Ohio – the firm used for soliciting the donations -- $3.3 million, the paper reported.

Only $73,840 went toward the actual purpose of the charity, which solicited thousands of Ohio residents and misled donors.

And despite the name Cops for Kids, the group has no formal ties to any police organization, the paper reported.

The lawsuit aims at preventing the two organizers from starting or working at another nonprofit charity and disbanding Cops for Kids, as well as restitution and fines, the paper reported.

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