Criminal Investigations of Charities in Florida
Charities are important organizations that often collect money or organize services to help those in need. Working for a charity is not a job that should be taken lightly. There’s a great deal of responsibility given to individuals who work for charities. Unfortunately, some people take advantage of that responsibility and the access they have to funds and private information, and they use it to carry out criminal activity. Accusations that a charity might be involved in criminal activity is enough reason for starting an investigation.
If you’re employed with a charitable organization or suspect an organization of criminal activity, education is your first line of defense. Here, we’re going to discuss the reasons why a charity might be under criminal investigation and what you can do about it if you find yourself involved in an unfortunate situation like this.
Charitable organizations fall under a specific classification known as a 501(c)(3). This status means they’re exempt from paying taxes and have certain privileges that other businesses do not. The classification also means, however, that there are specific rules the organization must comply with. If any of those rules are broken, the organization is subject to charges and investigation by the state and the federal government.
Most criminal investigations involving charitable organizations involve money and other fraudulent activity. Board members and employees are often tempted by their access to funds and use their status to solicit donors for money that they use for their own personal benefit. In addition to financial fraud, other reasons a charity might undergo a criminal investigation include:
- Failure to file the proper paperwork
- Failure to disclose information to the government
- Failure to apply charitable contributions consistent with solicitations
- Failure to release records to the government
All of these are considered serious criminal activity. If you’re involved with a charity suspected of suspicious activity, it’s in your best interest to hire a trustworthy and experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Like anything else involving charitable organizations, there’s an abundance of paperwork required for a criminal investigation of a charity. If the charity you’re involved with is facing criminal charges, the board and employees are required to provide:
- Documentation outlining all charity income and expenses
- Copies of checks, invoices, receipts, etc. documenting expenditures
- Monthly bank statements
- All documentation related to the solicitation of funds
- Any correspondence involving expenses over $500
- Minutes from the Board of Directors meetings
- …and more
Criminal investigation of a charity is an extremely detailed and time-consuming task. An attorney who is knowledgeable in criminal defense and who has experience handling fraud or other business cases is the best source of reliable assistance.
If you work for a charity that’s under criminal investigation, it’s imperative to cooperate throughout. Any time you’re asked to provide information, however, it’s in your best interest to consult your attorney or the attorney the organization is working with.
In Orlando, a trusted source of attorneys with experience in fraud cases is The Umansky Law Firm. With more than 100 years of combined experience, the lawyers on our team have won thousands of cases across Central Florida. We make it our mission to provide all our clients with the service and attention they deserve. That’s why we’re highly rated in customer satisfaction on Avvo.com and named among Florida’s Legal Elite.
To schedule a free consultation, call our office at 407-228-3838 or contact us online today. We look forward to helping you.