Attorney General Becerra Launches New Effort to Hold Delinquent Veterans Charities Accountable
SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today joined the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Attorneys General or regulators from every state in the nation to announce the initiation of “Operation Donate with Honor.”
This sweeping operation includes new enforcement actions as well as an education campaign to help donors spot and avoid fundraising solicitations that falsely promise to help veterans and military servicemembers.
In line with “Operation Donate with Honor,” Attorney General Becerra announced that during his time in office, the California Department of Justice has taken 10 legal and administrative enforcement actions against charities claiming to assist veterans.
In addition, Attorney General Becerra is issuing notices to the 514 veterans charities listed as “delinquent” on the Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts. If these charities fail to remedy their delinquency within 30 days, the Registry will suspend their registration.
“When brave Americans don our country’s uniform, we owe it to them to support and defend their interests – during and after their military service. Falsely claiming to lend a helping hand to our veterans ranks among the lowest forms of despicable, deceptive practices,” said Attorney General Becerra. “In California, if you solicit charitable donations to help our veterans, you better be prepared to prove it. All charities in our state must be registered and up to date with their reporting requirements at the Registry of Charitable Trusts at the California Department of Justice. We look forward to working even closer with our state and federal enforcement partners to ensure that charities meet their obligations.”
Click HERE for a summary of the legal and administrative enforcement actions taken by the California Department of Justice to protect donors in California and to address abusive solicitation practices or reporting and registration violations.
“Operation Donate with Honor” pairs enforcement actions with an education campaign, in English and Spanish, to help consumers recognize charitable solicitation fraud and identify legitimate charities. “Operation Donate with Honor” includes a new video that highlights tips on how the public can research charities to give wisely to veterans organizations. The video can be viewed in English HERE and in Spanish HERE. The California Department of Justice has also published a Guide for Charities, which provides best practices for charitable organizations and fundraising professionals that operate in California, and donation tips for supporting veterans. The Guide to Charities is available HERE, and the donor tips publication is available HERE.
To file a complaint about a charity or fundraiser with the California Attorney General’s Office, visit https://oag.ca.gov/charities and click on the complaint form.