Join The NonProfit Times: or Become a member

Subscribe: Print Publication or Newsletter

Stay connected.
Stay informed.

Judge Decides Fate Of Alleged Fraudulent Sandy Charity

By Zach Halper - July 3, 2013

A Superior Court judge in New Jersey has ruled that a Super Storm Sandy charity accused of fraud will have an outside administrator distribute all remaining funds before dissolving.

The ruling by Judge Robert P. Contillo in Bergen County approved the terms of a Final Consent Judgment and Settlement Agreement (FCJSA) which, aside from the distribution of all remaining funds to registered Sandy charities, will bar John Sandberg and Christine Terracino — the founders of the alleged fraudulent charity, the Hurricane Sandy Relief Foundation (HSRF) — from ever running a charitable organization related to Sandy. They also are barred from serving in a leadership position in any charitable organization in the state for a minimum of two years.

The State of New Jersey sued Sandberg and Terracino on February 21 for allegedly diverting donated funds to HSRF into their personal accounts and misleading the public by claiming that all donations would be tax deductible. The two were charged with violating the terms of the state’s Charitable Registration and Investigations Act and Charities Regulations and the Consumer Fraud Act.

The Court issued a ban on all further donations to HSRF on February 28, and all supplies and gift cards donated to the organization were given to the Salvation Army. Sandberg and Terracino could not be reached for comment.

“Charities are required to operate in an open and transparent manner, to ensure the public maintains its trust that donations are used as intended,” said Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman.  “Annual registration, which requires financial disclosure, is the foundation of accountability to the public.  We will act, as we did in this case, whenever we believe our charities laws and regulations have been violated.”

Based on information provided by Sandberg and Terracino, the state believes that around $334,000 in donations are available for distribution. Those remaining funds will be distributed by an outside Organization Administrator within five months. After the money has been distributed, the terms of the FCJSA state that both the HSRF and the organization itself must be shutdown.

The FCJSA includes a settlement amount of $79,195.18, representing the State’s attorneys’ fees and investigative costs. That amount will be suspended automatically after four years as long as Sandberg and Terracino comply with the terms of the settlement. Both individuals will be allowed to make a written request to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs to serve in a leadership role for a registered charitable organization after two years.

Eric Kanefsky, Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, noted that his staff has registered two dozen new charitable organizations that have a stated purpose of aiding Superstorm Sandy victims since the storm hit New Jersey at the end of October 2012.  Another 10 organizations have submitted registration forms that are being processed.

 

Help the Nonprofit Community by Participating in a Survey!

Complete NPT’s 2013 Salary and Benefits Survey and you will receive a FREE Executive Summary of the results as well as 50% off the full report.

Click Here to Begin the Survey!

Podcast_forHub_500x500

Sponsored Podcasts

Welcome to the Raise & Engage podcast, a filters-off series for nonprofit professionals hosted by Blackbaud's straight-shooting expert Danielle Johnson Vermenton. During this open-mic session, you’ll hear honest advice to help YOU do more for your cause.

Episode 6: The Power of ‘No’ at Work|| daniellejohnson-76

You have a job description, but on any given day, you're probably doing dozens of things outside the scope of that description. Combine that with the challenge of a fast-paced environment and the shifting priorities of funders, colleagues, and board members and it’s easy to fall short of doing your best. By being mindful of your limitations and capacity—and saying “no” when your plate is full—you can actually do more for your cause. In the sixth installment of the Raise and Engage podcast Danielle Johnson and Robin Anderson discuss the power of saying “no” at work.

Episode 5: Professional Development: Getting Un-Stuck|| daniellejohnson-76

In the most recent episode of Raise + Engage, Danielle is back with Brian Reich from little m media to discuss how nonprofit professionals can stay motivated and energized in their day-to-day roles. Brian shares his experience working with nonprofits and the lessons and tips he's learn from and shared with them over the years, including tips for avoiding a professional rut, creating forward momentum in your career and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. If you're considering making a career move or want to ensure you're on the right path, you won't want to miss this inspo-packed episode!

Episode 4: Apps and Hacks to Stay (Mostly) Sane || daniellejohnson-76

Episode 4: Apps and Hacks to Stay (Mostly) Sane, is all about tips, tricks and tools for sanity. Blackbaud’s own interactive product marketer, Julia Lenz, joins host Danielle Johnson to share some high tech. (and no tech.) productivity tips to help nonprofit professionals stay sane in the crazy world of philanthropy.

Tune in to hear:

  • Tips for how to spend the first 30 minutes of your day
  • The benefits of 15 minute meetings
  • Why notebooks are still relevant to a successful organization
  • Ideas for better managing your inbox
  • Why you should take lunch outside the box
  • ...and much more!
Don’t forget to visit the #NoFilterNonprofit Hub afterwards to download our newest tip sheet10 Productivity Hacks for Nonprofits.

Episode 3: Tech. Connection: Solutions, Strategy, and Staff || daniellejohnson-76

Episode 3: Tech. Connection: Solutions, Strategy, and Staff In episode 3 of the Raise + Engage podcast, Danielle Johnson is joined by Chris Geady and William DaSilva, two IT experts in the nonprofit space, to talk technology integration for NPOs: when you need it, when you don’t, and how to do it successfully.


Tune in to hear:

  • When to say NO to integration
  • How to set your strategic plan before even looking at technologies
  • Ways to get your entire team on board
  • The importance of identifying a project lead
  • The RFP process - how it should and should not go
And William shares a story about a nonprofit that may or may not have still been using a typewriter. You don't want to miss this one!

Episode 2: From Socially Awkward to Socially Awesome! || daniellejohnson-76

According to Danielle Johnson, straight-shooting host of the Raise + Engage podcast series, if your staff members aren’t the number one advocates for your cause on social media, you’re failing. In the most recent episode, Danielle is joined by Blackbaud’s own social media guru Madeline Turner to discuss overcoming social struggles and creating a social ambassador program at your organization. This entertaining and insightful duo dishes on the importance of making your social media presence human, making the case for a formal social program to leadership, how University of Michigan turned a one time social media campaign into a long term social program, and how Madeline's mom unknowingly became a social ambassador on #GivingTuesday.

Episode 1: Corporate Culture & Development: Shake It Up! || daniellejohnson-76

In the premiere episode of Raise & Engage, Danielle is joined by three straight-shooting nonprofit rock-stars: Jodi Smith of Sanford Health Systems, Veronica Brown of Chicago Public Library Foundation and Ali Burke of Southlake Regional Health Centre Foundation. The group talks organizational culture, problem employees, why its important to celebrate and how to shake things up this year and build a better more authentic team that gets stuff done!

Newsletters

Stay informed, catch latest trends in the nonprofit space.

Subscribe to Our Free Newsletter

No obligation, unsubscribe at anytime.

Success! Check your email inbox.

Follow Us On Twitter

NPT 2016 Buyers' Guide

Newsletter Sign-up



click here to return to the previous page