WMFD TV

Search Archive WMFD.com News

www.wmfd.com - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that a Franklin County judge has granted a default judgment against TEEN USA and Darien E. Smith of Cleveland.

   
 
Sham charity ordered to pay $320,000

Story By: Brigitte Coles

 

 

 
 
 
  Email Story to Friend
   
 

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Thursday that a Franklin County judge has granted a default judgment against TEEN USA and Darien E. Smith of Cleveland for violating the terms of an agreement the organization made with the Attorney General’s Office in November 2013.

Smith had agreed to dissolve TEEN USA, to not hold any position in or participate in soliciting donations for any charitable organization in Ohio, and to pay $10,000 to the Attorney General’s Office. He violated the agreement by failing to dissolve TEEN USA, failing to cease soliciting charitable donations, and failing to make payments.

“Through TEEN USA, teens went door-to-door selling candy, but the money raised was not used for charitable purposes,” Attorney General DeWine said. “We believe this group, and others like it, may still be operating in the Cleveland area, and we urge anyone who encounters a suspicious solicitation to contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office immediately.”

The judgment orders Darien Smith and TEEN USA to pay a $320,000 civil penalty of liquidated damages. It also prohibits Smith and TEEN USA from soliciting for any charitable purposes in Ohio and grants relief to enforce all the terms of the previous agreement, an Assurance of Discontinuance.

TEEN USA registered as a nonprofit with the Ohio Secretary of State with a stated purpose of “fundraising for low-income individuals, sports teams, and schools.” A previous investigation conducted by the Attorney General’s Charitable Law Section revealed that Smith misappropriated funds while running the organization from 2010 to 2013.

Smith solicited teenagers to sell candy in Cleveland-area neighborhoods as a fundraiser for TEEN USA but contributed nothing toward a charitable purpose, instead allowing the teens to keep some of the money for themselves while keeping a larger portion for himself.

   
  MORE RECENT NEWS
 
Image1 Pediatric Neurosurgeon and New York Times Best-Selling Author Dr. Ben Carson speaks at A.U. Full Story
Image1 Shelby is ready to turn one of the most flood-prone areas of its downtown into an attractive place that won't be damaged when the river overflows. Full Story
 
Image1 North Central State College is ready for fall semester to begin Monday, and holds its convocation Thursday to make final preparations. Full Story
Image1 Richland and Ashland Counties each receive $56,400 from the state's "Strong Families, Safe Communities" grant program, as its portion of a $600,000 award to a group of eleven counties. Full Story
  MORE NEWS
 

Richland, Ashland Counties Get Strong Families Grants

Two people killed in crash at U.S. 42 and Ohio 302

Madison School District Opens Up

Lucas Schools Seeking 12.9 Mil Renewal Levy

Autopsy reveals infant accidentially suffocated

New School Year Begins In Ontario

Mansfield man found not guilty in shooting case

More News