Caught on tape: OK fundraiser admits not playing by the rules
DEL CITY, OKLA. – For decades S.H.O. & Associates of Del City has been raising money for local charities.
We reviewed the tax returns from 2008 through 2012.
During that period, S.H.O. & Associates made $2,094,763 in the name of veterans, children and firefighters.
Only 23 percent of your donations, $633,260 actually went to the charities.
We tracked down Ted Howard, owner of S.H.O. & Associates.
Here’s the thing.
He isn’t breaking the law.
There’s no limit on how much he or any other fundraiser can charge for their services, but it is illegal for companies like S.H.O. & Associates to hire certain criminals.
“It has to be a convicted felon or a convicted misdemeanor that involves what they call moral turpitude,” Oklahoma Assistant Attorney General, Julie Bays, said. “What that entails is some kind of fraud.”
The In Your Corner team reviewed registration records for solicitors working for S.H.O. & Associates last year.
Then we did background checks.
Nearly one third of the company’s registered solicitors were convicted felons.
The crimes included concealing stolen property, theft, possession of a stolen credit card, and more.
“We would have to look into it, but like I said, under the statutes we have the ability to file an action in court and request the court to either shut down the professional fundraiser or ask for certain injunctive relief.
Bays says it is up to the fundraiser to do background checks on its own solicitors.
Howard admitted to our team he doesn’t do background checks on his employees.
He said, “[I] did not know that. [That’s] news to me.”
Howard says none of the felons work for him any longer, but employee pay stubs show Howard paid at least one of those felons earlier this month.
Last year, another solicitor also found himself at the center of a police investigation for fraud.
“If we got to do background checks, then we’ll do them,” Howard said.
Our investigation caught the attention of the state.
They’ve launched their own investigation into S.H.O. & Associates.
In fact, several charities that once used the fundraiser are now considering severing ties with the organization.
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