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Attorney General’s office supports Operation False Charity law enforcement sweep

Consumer Protection | Department of Justice | Department of Justice Press Releases | Date Posted: Wednesday, May 20, 2009



In an effort to bring public attention to fraudulent charitable solicitors who
claim to help police, firefighters, and veterans and to report charity fraud enforcement action already
underway, the Delaware Attorney General’s office joined the Federal Trade Commission and law
enforcement officials in other states in announcing Operation False Charity. As part of today’s
announcement, federal authorities, 48 states, and the District of Columbia reported 76 enforcement
actions against fundraising companies, nonprofits, and individuals nationwide and highlighted
education materials to help recognize and avoid charitable solicitation fraud.

“We are determined to take action against charities fraud in Delaware to ensure that peoples’
donations find their way to intended causes and to protect legitimate charities across our state,” said
Timothy Mullaney, Director of the Attorney General’s Fraud and Consumer Protection Division.

Delaware also noted its own action to combat charities fraud. Michael Metzler (age 36 of
Philadelphia, PA) was indicted on December 22, 2008 on 6 felony counts of theft by false pretenses
and false promise. Delaware’s indictment alleges that Metzler, who was associated with the
organization “Disabled Firefighters Association”, used his affiliation with that organization to steal
$20,000 from Delaware residents. He has not been arrested on these charges and a warrant for his
arrest remains active. Anyone with information about Metzler’s whereabouts is encouraged to contact
Investigator Bill Prettyman at the Delaware Attorney General’s office at (302) 577-8600.

Today the FTC issued a new consumer alert – Supporting the Troops: When Charities Solicit
Donations on Behalf of Vets and Military Families – providing information about charities that solicit
donations on behalf of veterans and military families. The alert offers tips to help consumers ensure
that their donations go to a legitimate charity. It cautions that while many legitimate charities solicit
donations to support military veterans, not all charities are legitimate. Some are operators whose only
purpose is to make money for themselves. Others are paid fundraisers whose fees can use up
significant portions of a donation.

Details from the Federal Trade Commission about Operation False Charity can be found at
www.ftc.gov/charityfraud and at www.ftc.gov/donaciones for information in Spanish.
More information about charities fraud in Delaware can be found on the Attorney General’s
website at www.attorneygeneral.delaware.gov/consumers.
# # #

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Attorney General’s office supports Operation False Charity law enforcement sweep

Consumer Protection | Department of Justice | Department of Justice Press Releases | Date Posted: Wednesday, May 20, 2009



In an effort to bring public attention to fraudulent charitable solicitors who
claim to help police, firefighters, and veterans and to report charity fraud enforcement action already
underway, the Delaware Attorney General’s office joined the Federal Trade Commission and law
enforcement officials in other states in announcing Operation False Charity. As part of today’s
announcement, federal authorities, 48 states, and the District of Columbia reported 76 enforcement
actions against fundraising companies, nonprofits, and individuals nationwide and highlighted
education materials to help recognize and avoid charitable solicitation fraud.

“We are determined to take action against charities fraud in Delaware to ensure that peoples’
donations find their way to intended causes and to protect legitimate charities across our state,” said
Timothy Mullaney, Director of the Attorney General’s Fraud and Consumer Protection Division.

Delaware also noted its own action to combat charities fraud. Michael Metzler (age 36 of
Philadelphia, PA) was indicted on December 22, 2008 on 6 felony counts of theft by false pretenses
and false promise. Delaware’s indictment alleges that Metzler, who was associated with the
organization “Disabled Firefighters Association”, used his affiliation with that organization to steal
$20,000 from Delaware residents. He has not been arrested on these charges and a warrant for his
arrest remains active. Anyone with information about Metzler’s whereabouts is encouraged to contact
Investigator Bill Prettyman at the Delaware Attorney General’s office at (302) 577-8600.

Today the FTC issued a new consumer alert – Supporting the Troops: When Charities Solicit
Donations on Behalf of Vets and Military Families – providing information about charities that solicit
donations on behalf of veterans and military families. The alert offers tips to help consumers ensure
that their donations go to a legitimate charity. It cautions that while many legitimate charities solicit
donations to support military veterans, not all charities are legitimate. Some are operators whose only
purpose is to make money for themselves. Others are paid fundraisers whose fees can use up
significant portions of a donation.

Details from the Federal Trade Commission about Operation False Charity can be found at
www.ftc.gov/charityfraud and at www.ftc.gov/donaciones for information in Spanish.
More information about charities fraud in Delaware can be found on the Attorney General’s
website at www.attorneygeneral.delaware.gov/consumers.
# # #

image_printPrint


Graphic that represents delaware news on a mobile phone

Keep up to date by receiving a daily digest email, around noon, of current news release posts from state agencies on news.delaware.gov.

Here you can subscribe to future news updates.