Ohio Foundation Leaders Barred From Soliciting Funds

April 1, 2014       The NonProfit Times      

Two officers of an Ohio foundation have agreed never to solicit funds in the state, and their foundation will dissolve, according to court documents and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office. As part of the Assurance of Discontinuance, Abbie Taylor, former president of Dynamite TKD Kids Foundation, must pay $5,000 to the state, and the foundation’s assets will be liquidated and transferred the attorney general’s Charitable Law section for redistribution.

Both Taylor and former vice president Rebecca VonMoos are barred from holding any position of financial control at any Ohio charity and from fundraising in Ohio. Taylor and VonMoos “breached fiduciary duties of care, loyalty, to properly manage accounts, to comply with the law, to not waste charitable assets, and to act in the best interest of the charity,” according to the Assurance of Discontinuance, signed on Feb. 22. “All parties agree that this Assurance is made in lieu of a civil action based upon the findings set forth herein.” Neither could be reached for comment.

A spokesman from the Ohio AG’s office said the office received a tip in August 2012 that Taylor and her husband, the owner of a Tae Kwan Do school, were using the foundation’s debit card for personal expenses, including vacation. The foundation’s purpose was to provide scholarships to underprivileged children to attend the martial arts school. It granted “very, very few” scholarships, said AG spokesman Dan Tierney, a spokesman for the attorney general.

“Taking advantage of charitable donors’ good faith for personal gain is unacceptable,” said DeWine via a statement. “It is our ongoing mission to make sure these organizations are shut down.”

Taylor must pay $5,000 from her personal capacity in monthly $416.67 installments. Tierney did not know how much of the foundation’s money the Taylors allegedly spent on personal expenses.

The foundation’s assets are to be liquidated and redistributed at DeWine’s discretion to Ohio charities. No timetable has been set. Tierney did not know the foundation’s assets. According to the foundation’s 2012 Form 990 (the latest available), the foundation took in $6,757 in 2012 and $11,571 in 2011. It paid out $2,700 in 2012 and $2,650 in 2011. For both years, fundraising expenses made up more than half of the total expenses (61 percent in 2011 and 54 percent in 2012). The foundation’s net assets stood at $336 at the time of the 990’s filing.