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N Cal Attorney
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Question regarding non profit charity activities

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Question regarding unethical, possible illegal, activity of a non profit charity. I will elaborate once responded too. At that point a fair bonus can be determined to answer the questions.

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 3 years ago.
-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

A San Diego non profit charity collects donated sportcaught fish from fishermen. Sport caught fish in california cannot be sold, bartered, traded on otherwise result in personal gain to an individual.

 

The founder of the charity is a Marketing/Public Relations director for a firm that sells waste incineration equipment. This comes into play later.

 

They state they collected and distributed 25,000 pounds of fish last year. This is high priced fish with a Fair Market Value I estimate exceeds $100,000.

 

When I asked for a 990/990-T etc. The founder stated they did not make a penny and no IRS returns, etc. where filed. They just started that year 2010.

 

The fish are collected and sent to a for profit processor (clean fish) managed by a personal friend of the charity founder. The founder has also worked for the owners of the facility. They state the fish are amassed and then forwarded to other charities in the area. I'm sure this is the case for most of the fish. A sizable amount though are cleaned for some of the charities at a cost. This directly benefits the processor. So does the sale of the fish carcasses to lobster crab fishermen. Both these gains from sport caught fish are sizable. Then there is the issue of sport caught fish in a for profit facility at all. I will have DFG address that among other things.

 

One of the non profit charites who receive fish from this "middleman" charity is their largest recipient. I come to find they had a waste incinerator installed by the company the founder of the charity is a director for. This appears to be a personal gain to the founder resulting from reciprocation for providing the sport caught fish.

 

This same charity who recieved in excess of 10,000 pounds of fish actually cleans whole fish themselves. Then the carcasses are given free of charge to a friend of the charity founder in question. A lobster fisherman. I estimate the value of that bait that any other lobster fisherman would have to pay for at approx. $5,000. Here a personal friend of the founder personally benifits from sport caught fish.

 

This founder has promoted his "Charity" very well in town. It appears he is doing great things and is becoming "connected" with the philanthropist and political community.

 

Now he is having conversations with the City about managing all their waste with the equipment of the company he is the Marketing/Public Relations director for. No doubt do to his "Charitable" work in the community.

 

How much of this activity is illegal, unethical, etc. I look to confront him and or expose this situation to the local media.

 

Thank you.

 

 

Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 3 years ago.
My opinion is that selling the carcasses is not legal.

Have you complained to DGF?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What about the other charity buying his equipment? Giving carcasses free to friend? Processor friends getting paid to cut sport fish for the charity. Etc.

 

It is pretty blatant that the Charity is just a public relations move to promote his other business. The fact that other charities are receiving the fish is just a byproduct. The fish all use to be donated to these various charities directly by the fisherman. He's just centralizing it and making his friends and himself benifactors of it. He does'nt even actaully touch the fish. The processor does it all.

 

This does'nt appear very unethical, at the least, to you?

 

What financial reporting would he have to do for receiving that kind of dollar value of product? He does'nt have to account for it?

 

I am going to meet with DFG next week. I was looking to you for legal review of unethical, conflict of interest, faulty accounting, etc by the charity regardless of it involving DFG issues. Make it any kind of donated product with a high dollar value.

 

Thanks

Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 3 years ago.
This sounds like self dealing. Do you know if the charity ever asked the AG for approval of such activities? See
http://ag.ca.gov/charities/pdf/title11.pdf
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I do not know. Is there a way to check this without going to him. He's a one man show. I did confirm with the IRS his non profit status. I have already pissed him off asking for the 990's. I briefly skimmed the link. I am no attny so it's a lot of greek to me.

 

Is there a proper agency I could convey the same information I gave you for their review?

 

Sorry if I sound agitated. I know the fishermen who donate, the unknowing public that think he's un-selfishly helping the poor/hungry, etc would be pissed to know. It pisses me off. I'm just trying to amass as much facts as I can before exposing him to the above mentioned as well as the city whom he is trying to sell a multimillion dollar contract too.

Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 3 years ago.
Self dealing or other improper activity by a 501(c)(3) in California can be reported to
Registry of Charitable Trusts
P.O. Box 903447
Sacramento, CANNN-NN-NNNNbr/>(916)(NNN) NNN-NNNNbr/>See
http://ag.ca.gov/charities/contact.php
N Cal Attorney, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 8155
Experience: Since 1983
N Cal Attorney and 9 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you very much for all you help!!!

 

Are you allowed to suggest a bonus amount given the amount of time you have probably spent on this matter?

 

Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for accepting my answer.

Just Answer does not allow the Legal Experts to suggest or request a specific amount or percentage as a bonus. Any bonus would be greatly appreciated but it is not required.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Did what I could.

 

Thanks again!

Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 3 years ago.
Thank you very much for the bonus!

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