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Law & Justice

Idaho AG Says 'Sham' Cancer Charities Agree To $76 Million Settlement

Lawrence Wasden
Idaho Public Television

The Idaho Attorney General says two Tennessee-based cancer charities labeled "shams" by the Federal Trade Commission have settled a fraud case.

The joint action by the FTC and all 50 states says James Reynolds, Sr. and others spent donations meant for cancer patients on six-figure salaries and luxury vacations.

The settlement with Reynolds, Cancer Fund of America and Cancer Support Services was filed Wednesday in federal court in Arizona. It must be signed by the judge before it takes effect.

Together, the four charities raised more than $187 million between 2008 and 2012. Idaho AG Lawrence Wasden says they don’t know how many Idahoans donated to the organizations. A portion of the $76 million in settlement money will be given to charities that focus on cancer patients.

“Let this settlement serve as a warning to other scam charities operating in Idaho and beyond,” said Wasden.

Under the settlement, Reynolds will be banned from profiting from nonprofit work or charity fundraising. He must surrender artwork, pistols and the money he got from selling a pontoon boat.

“Consumers must do their homework when deciding where to donate money,” said Wasden. “Take time to research charitable organizations online.”

Wasden says anyone can research Idaho charities at the AG’s website.

Reynolds' son and ex-wife previously agreed to settlements involving two related charities. The former president of Cancer Support Services also settled earlier.

Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio

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