2 ‘sham’ cancer charities forced to dissolve after $75 million fraud

Two nationwide “sham” cancer charities that Georgia helped fight were forced to dissolve Wednesday in the largest federal and state enforcement action of its kind, according to a statement from Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens.

After the Cancer Fund of America and Cancer Support Services accepted more than $75 million from donors between 2008 and 2012, Olens, the Federal Trade Commission and agencies from 50 states obtained a permanent injunction against the organizations Wednesday.

Their president, James Reynolds Sr., was also banned from profiting from any charity fundraising or managing charitable assets in the future under a settlement filed in court.

“Today, joining forces with federal and state partners, we have put an end to an egregious and extensive charity fraud scheme which claimed to assist children with cancer and breast cancer patients,” Olens said. “These so-called charities took advantage of the generosity of others to fund their lavish lifestyles.”

The judgment stems from a federal complaint filed in May 2015 to disband the Cancer Fund of America, Cancer Support Services and two other accused charities run by Reynolds and his family members, said Nick Genesi, a spokesman for Olens’ office.

The four organizations raked in more than $187 million collectively. The other two charities — — settled in May 2015.

Cancer Fund of America and Cancer Support Services agreed to settle but instead spent the majority of donations on their operators, families and friends and fundraisers, Genesi said.

The organizations must in turn permanently stop operations and liquidate their assets.

The judgment against Reynolds will be suspended when he surrenders certain artwork, two pistols and the sale of a pontoon boat.

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