Sparta Couple's Sandy Fund 'Unforgivable,' Senator Says
Steven Oroho, 24th Legislative District Senator, speaks out on potential deception of Hurricane Sandy victims.
Reports of a Sparta-based couple operating a unregistered charity in the name of Hurricane Sandy relief has drawn the attention of the 24th Legislative District's senator, Steven Oroho.
In a report released Sunday by the Asbury Park Press, John Sandberg and Christina Terraccino are operating the Hurricane Sandy Relief Foundation — while using the same name of a charity legally registered by first lady Mary Pat Christie to solicit funds — while not being a tax-exempt organization, although it claims to be.
“Any attempt to deceive good-willed residents or business owners into funding a fake charity is a serious criminal offense — attempting to capitalize off of Superstorm Sandy victims would be unforgivable and incomprehensible,” Oroho said in a statement Monday.
“I have confidence in New Jersey’s Attorney General and Division of Consumer Affairs to investigate this or any other questionable Superstorm Sandy charities to determine any ill-intent or fraud. Sandy-related charities should be on notice that their financial records will be checked by state authorities.”
The fund has raised close to $1 million, the report said, and the pair could be fined thousands of dollars for collecting money while not being registered as a charity and risk trouble with the IRS for wrongly touting itself as a tax-exempt organization.