SEATTLE — A court found that a sham charity took millions of dollars from Washington residents donating to help fight breast cancer.
KING-TV reports Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office began investigating the Breast Cancer Prevention Fund in 2011 after receiving complaints the organization was misleading donors into believing their donations were funding mammograms for uninsured and under-insured women.
Ferguson’s office took the charity and its board president, James Paton, to court, uncovering that 80 percent of the $22 million charity went to fund Paton’s own telemarketing company; plus, an additional $8.5 million went directly into Paton’s pocket.
Ferguson says his office was able to recover $1.6 million. He says, “about $500,000 will be for Washington and two other states will split the difference.”
Ferguson’s office announced Monday it will donate the $500,000 to the Department of Health to provide breast cancer screenings.