A for-profit fundraiser that solicited donations for the Jaycees and other charities (including some fake ones) will close shop under a settlement with the Washington Attorney General’s Office.
Charitable Assistance Group, Inc., of Seattle, and its predecessor, Direct Funding, Inc., were accused of violating state consumer protection and charitable solicitations laws. Also named as defendants in the state's lawsuit were three company officials and solicitors: Justin McGuinn and his father, Joseph Michael McGuinn, both of Seattle, and Jennifer Bartlett aka Virginia Bartlett, of Vancouver. Dad’s been in trouble with the state before for fundraising.
The defendants had contracts to solicit donations for the Washington Junior Chamber (Jaycees) and Jaycees chapters in Renton, Kirkland and Vancouver; as well as the Firefighters Assistance Fund, Vietnow National Headquarters dba Veterans Now, Veterans Charitable Foundation and the Disabled Police Officers Guild of America.
According to records filed with the Secretary of State’s Office, only 9 percent of the $183,814 in charitable donations raised by the defendants went to their clients. In 2007, the defendants returned only 5 percent of the $319,723 they raised.