Thursday, August 1, 2019

Sham charity in Nashville, caught in 7-state probe prompted by tip from Maysville hospice, agrees to dissolve, pay costs and fines

A tip from a hospice employee in Maysville led Kentucky's attorney general and those in seven other states to shut down a sham charity that said it was for the benefit of local hospices.

The New Hope Foundation Inc. of Nashville agreed to dissolve, and three of its officers will "be banned from any charity or fundraising activities in perpetuity," said a news release from Attorney General Andy Beshear. "New Hope agreed to repay the cost of the investigation and pay more than $74,000 in civil penalties to the states, which were calculated based on an even split and money made in each state. Kentucky’s general fund will receive more than $6,000."

The release explained, "New Hope raised funds through telemarketing and direct mail and allegedly provided education regarding hospice services. It sent 'local area appeals' which appeared to donors to be solicitations from their local hospice providers but were not."

The case "began when Michael Parker, director of public relations and development of Hospice of Hope in Maysville, made a report" to Beshear's office, the release said. "Parker reported that Hospice of Hope is the only hospice service provider in the Maysville area and its donors were receiving solicitations from the Hospice Support Fund for a “Maysville Area Appeal” and those donors were confused. The Hospice Support Fund was a program of New Hope, but Hospice for Hope did not receive any money from this solicitation or from New Hope in general."

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