Four cancer charities run by various members of the same family duped donors out of $187 million from 2008 through 2012, spending only 3% on cancer patients. The other 97% went to support the opulent lifestyles of the con artists. “Donated funds were used to pay for vehicles, personal consumer goods, college tuition, gym memberships, Jet Ski outings, dating website subscriptions, luxury cruises, and tickets to concerts and professional sporting events,” the complaint says. There was “rampant nepotism,” according to an article by CNN that linked James Reynolds to his son, his son’s wife, two sisters, a family mother and the accused list goes on. The government is taking appropriate action to shut them down but you can bet it won’t be long before they open under a new name with a fresh P.O. box number.
Greed is here to stay as evidenced by the fact that I witnessed this same behavior in the junk mail business starting in the late 60s, and it had already been around for years. It’s so easy to open a post office box, get a list of names–gullibles, I call them–and send them an offer they can’t resist. Catch them and the box is closed and they move on, sometimes even to a new city. In the 1970s the rage was the “cancer scare” which alluded to the fact that the recipient may not have cancer now but there was a good chance they would in the future. For a few bucks you could buy their insurance which was basically worthless. The worst part is that the junk mail industry condoned this because of the revenue it produced. And that is the reason it will never go away.