Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

America's Worst Charities

Charity fundraiser Quadriga Art agrees to $25 million settlement

A fundraiser for some of America's worst charities has agreed to a $25 million settlement with New York regulators to resolve allegations that the company misled potential donors and failed to disclose conflicts of interest.

It is the largest settlement ever reached in the United States on deceptive fundraising allegations, according to the New York attorney general.

As part of the settlement, Quadriga Art and its affiliates will forgive a $13.8 million debt that a charity client incurred from direct mail campaigns and pay $9.7 million in damages.

In a statement, Mark Schulhof, CEO of Quadriga, apologized. "We mailed too much, and too quickly, for a young charity. We made mistakes that permitted donors to believe that greater programs were in operation before they could be fully realized," he said. "We deeply apologize for our actions and for any adverse impact they may have had on our industry. We have taken steps to ensure that this situation will never occur again, and initiated reforms based on lessons learned that will be applied toward every aspect of our business, every day."

Quadriga and its affiliates have worked with at least five charities named in a series by the Tampa Bay Times and The Center for Investigative Reporting that ranked America's 50 worst charities based on the money they spent hiring professional solicitors.

The New York attorney general's investigation focused on Quadriga's fundraising practices with one of the largest veterans-related charities in the county, the Disabled Veterans National Foundation based in Washington. A CNN investigation found that almost none of the more than $50 million that had been donated to the charity had gone to help veterans. The charity was not on the Times/CIR list.

In a statement, the charity's recently appointed CEO thanked the attorney general's office. "DVNF will be a stronger and better organization as a result of their work," said Joseph VanFonda, a retired Marine.

As part of the settlement, the charity is continuing to reform its fundraising practices and will replace all of its founding directors.

Charity fundraiser Quadriga Art agrees to $25 million settlement 06/30/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 8:35am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs journal: Kicker Nick Folk has up and downs against Jaguars


    JACKSONVILLE — If the Bucs had hoped for a drama-free night in their kicking game, they'll have to wait another week.

    Bucs kicker Nick Folk celebrates one of his two made field goals against the Jaguars, but he also misses a field goal and has an extra point blocked.
  2. Late night update: Second wave follows Tropical Storm Harvey


    UPDATE: At 11 p.m. the National Hurricane Center said a hurricane hunter plane had determined that Tropical Storm Harvey had formed with sustained winds of 40 mph.

    Three tropical waves are expected to strengthen as they move across the Atlantic Ocean. [Courtesy of the National Hurricane Center]
  3. Stealth anti-Jack Latvala group tied to Adam Putnam campaign


    Politico reports:

     A longtime political consultant for Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam is behind a website calling one of his rivals in the race, state Sen. Jack Latvala, a “liberal.”

  4. Council gives in to pension dispute with St. Pete firefighters

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The City Council was forced to consider its first labor dispute in years Thursday when it gave the firefighters union most of the pension enhancements it has long asked for.

    The firefighters’ union won a pension victory at Thursday’s City Council meeting. [SCOTT KEELER    |      TIMES]
  5. Bucs top Jaguars behind strong first half



    There is a reason why the air in Tampa Bay is filled with playoff talk. If Thursday night's 12-8 Bucs preseason win over the Jaguars is any indication, it's also going to be filled with footballs thrown by quarterback Jameis Winston.

    Doug Martin gets the Bucs’ only touchdown  on a 2-yard run, squeaking past linebacker Telvin Smith in the first quarter. He has five carries for 30 yards.