Charity scams absolutely break my heart. You think you're donating or giving to a worthy cause that's near and dear to your heart, but only a small fraction of your gift actually helps those in need. The sad reality is that the majority of your generosity could be buying some fat-cat scammer a new jet ski.
That's the case with James Reynolds. He's a former leader of the American Cancer Society, but when he was accused of taking a vintage car meant for an auction, Reynolds found himself out of a job.
But that didn't stop him. Reynolds went on to found the Cancer Fund of America, where he continued his questionable behavior. And just this week, the FTC filed charges against him, claiming that his charity, and a handful of others he founded, stole "$187 million between 2008 and 2012 in donations, which they diverted into 'lucrative employment for family members and friends, and spent consumer donations on cars, trips, luxury cruises, college tuition, gym memberships, jet ski outings, sporting event and concert tickets, and dating site memberships.' "
With all that in mind, the Tampa Bay Times has been keeping an eye on America's charities and their tax returns. It's reporters have been tracking how much money some charities collect and how much of those donations actually goes toward helping the cause.
But guess what? Cancer Fund of America isn't the worst offender. Check out the Times' chart that details the finances.
For example, Cancer Fund of America managed to raise $86.8 million, but kept $75.4 million for themselves, only giving out 2.5% to the actual cause.
It saddens me to know that this is real. Be sure to check Tampa Bay Times' list so you don't donate to a charity like this.