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
   
  Original Published: 7/4/2014

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 A chilly fall evening was the perfect backdrop for the City of Mansfield's Halloween Parade. Full Story
Image1 Members of the U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force arrested Chris Collins, 23, hiding in a residence in Mansfield, Wednesday morning. Full Story
 
Image1 Job-seekers, and companies with jobs to offer, turned-out Wednesday for the Crawford County Hiring Fair. Full Story
Image1 Richland County Common Pleas Court Judge candidate Phil Naumoff says he wants voters to know he's been consistent with his platform leading up to election day. Full Story
  MORE NEWS
 

Judge Candidate Phil Naumoff Speaks To Local Democrats

Tree Cut Down, Damaging Headstones At Historical Cemetery

Lexington Teachers And Supporters are Linked in Solidarity

Jack Hanna's show coming to the Renaissance

Big Red Bookshelf Book Fair coming to Ontario

Possible Armed Standoff And Bomb Threat Happen In Butler

Halloween parade postponed

North Central State College Nursing Students Health Fair

Congressman Tiberi Visits Agency On Aging

Election day luncheon delivers

Spaghetti Bowl Raises Money,Excitement for Mansfield Rivalry

More News