The New Jersey Attorney General's Office charged four "correctionsofficer" unions and a forprofit fundraising company with diverting nearly $2 million from police charities over a threeyear period.
In a 12count complaint filed in Monmouth County Superior Court in November 2000, the state charged Community Affairs Inc. with having its telemarketers pose as local or state police and telling thousands of prospective donors they were raising money to purchase bulletproof vest, to help "widows and orphans" of slain peace officers and to provide scholarships.
The telemarketers were actually representing prison guard unions, and less than 2 percent of the donations, about $35,000, went toward legitimate charity, the state charged.
About 80 percent of the money raised, about $1.6 million, was paid to the telemarketing company as fees. Most of the remaining money, about $365,000, went directly into union coffers, the state alleged.
Charged were Burlington County Corrections Officers PBA Local 249, Somerset County Corrections Officers PBA Local 177, Union County Corrections Officers FOP Lodge 123, and the New Jersey Superior Officers Law Enforcement Association. The latter is a statewide group consisting mainly of New Jersey state prison guards holding the rank of lieutenant or higher; the other three union represent county jail guards.
The unions were charged because they allegedly knew the telemarketing company employed illegal fundraising practices and did nothing to stop them.
Source: Corrections Digest
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