Pa. Attorney General sues Arizona charity for soliciting illegal donations from state residents

By Jon Campisi | Apr 20, 2012

The state Attorney General’s Office has filed a lawsuit against an Arizona charity for soliciting illegal donations, two years after Pennsylvania’s top law enforcer entered into a consent agreement with the same group after it was discovered that the charitable organization was not registered in Pennsylvania, as required by law.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly announced in an April 18 statement that her office’s Charitable Trusts and Organization Section filed suit against the Tucson, Ariz.-based Mary Schanz Foundation, also known as Ironwood Pig Sanctuary, which was established to provide care and shelter for potbellied pigs awaiting adoption.

The statement says that the foundation was not registered with the Pennsylvania Department of State dating back to 2005.

The state’s Charities Act requires charitable organizations to register with the State Department prior to soliciting donations and contributions from Pennsylvanians.

According to Kelly, the State Department entered into a consent agreement with the organization in June 2010 that required the group to pay a fine and register as a charitable organization in Pennsylvania.

The lawsuit claims that while Ironwood paid the fine listed in the consent agreement, it never did register with the Pennsylvania Department of State, yet it continued to solicit donations from state residents in violation of a cease and desist order from the Secretary of State.

The lawsuit seeks an account of all funds raised during the time period in which Ironwood wasn’t registered with Pennsylvania authorities.

It also seeks to impose fines for solicitations that came in violation of the Charities Act, court costs and restitution.


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