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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.

 — 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.

For the full report, go here.

Michele Guttenberger February 12, 2013 at 11:45 PM
If they were going to make this scam legal they should have registered it like the corporate Wall St Investment Gang that's getting big tax deductions and having wealthy man's charity parties on Sussex County tax exempt property that helps raise funds to their own high brow private schools and conducting retail sales on this property of high end firearms $69K on tax exempt public land trust property. Now that is outrageous and perfectly legal (I think??) since they have the politicians and legislative lawyers in this club. Why don't you check into this exploitation of our tax exempt land trust property by entities that are registered in Bermuda? Than I would say that you really cared about the middle class getting swindled Mr Oroho. Because, my town lost a lot in commercial tax ratables putting acres and acres of land into these tax exempt land deals and that money lost is the burden picked up by the average Joe with a reassessment of their property and new tax rates. This to me was the biggest rip-off to Sussex County residents. It wouldn't hurt so much if I didn't have to hear about all the revenue they are raising from this tax exempt property and how wonderful they are for their great charity while our gov funds for public schools, and healthcare programs for the middle class are getting gutted by the 2% PAC and ALEC club crowd because they don't want to pay their fair share in taxes.
The Watcher February 13, 2013 at 03:54 AM
Well written but falling on deaf ears. Maybe Gov. Christie is listening after all he's for cutting taxes, and against double dipping and people that circumvent the system. Perhaps he can also look into how the town is being run by a few at the cost of the many.

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