The Allied Veterans of the World Internet Café scandal changed the way charities are viewed in the state. Then Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll resigned because of her ties to the $300 million dollar gambling operation posing as a charity. The internet café group actually gave very little to veterans. The legislature passed a bill this year to try and stop history from repeating itself.
“There was a need to crackdown on some of these charities that were taking money from people who were giving their hardworking money to the charities and then them not giving it to the causes,” said Dept. of Agriculture Press Secretary Erin Gillespie.
The Department of Agriculture says this bill could have helped stop the internet café scandal before it got out of control.
“It would certainly have made it more difficult. It does request more information from charities especially those that take in more than a million dollars. It also bans charities in Florida that had problems in other states which we were not able to do before,” said Gillespie.
11 Florida charities landed on a nationwide “50 worst charities list” last year. State Senator Jeff Brandes sponsored the charity crackdown bill.
“That’s just unconscionable that we would literally steal money from people. They’re saying it was a charitable contribution and they’re just using it to line their own pockets,” said Sen. Brandes (R-St. Petersburg).
Professional solicitors who use telemarketing to collect funds would need to provide fingerprints and background checks and report to the state the contributions that will be used for the charity.
The legislation is awaiting the Governor’s signature.
One of those charities is based in Tallahassee. For a full list Click Here.