Attorney General John Kroger last week shut down the Oregon operations of a Texas-based charity collecting money in the name of helping law enforcement agencies – but which kept most of the money for itself.
"Oregonians have a right to know that their donations are going to legitimate charities that obey the law," Attorney General Kroger said.
The U.S. Deputy Sheriffs' Association, a Texas-based non-profit, misled nearly 500 Oregon residents with a deceptive sweepstakes mailing that purported to help under-funded law enforcement agencies.
The organization used only 1 percent of the money raised in direct grants to help deputy sheriffs. Most of the money was spent on non-law enforcement related expenses like staff salaries and fundraising expenses.
The group broke Oregon law because it is not registered to solicit in the state. The association claimed its fundraising efforts in the state were an oversight and agreed to return all of the money it raised in Oregon in the form of a check for $8,253 to a legitimate Oregon law enforcement non-profit, the Oregon State Sheriffs' Association.
"We're excited that the Attorney General's office resolved this case so favorably," said Tillamook County Sheriff Todd Anderson, president of the Oregon State Sheriffs' Association. "Groups that falsely claim to be helping law enforcement deceive Oregonians and harm the efforts of legitimate organizations like the Oregon State Sheriffs' Association."
Assistant Attorney General Heather Weigler handled the case for the Oregon Department of Justice.