AG Files Suit Against Nonprofit Fund-Raiser

Group Allegedly Not In Compliance With State Consumer Laws

Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter has taken legal action against an Indianapolis area professional fund-raiser for allegedly violating the state's Deceptive Consumer Sales Act (DCSA) and failing to meet other state fund-raising filing requirements.

The suit was filed in Hamilton County Superior Court.

Carter said Phipps & Associates, and Indiana Outreach/Phipps, Inc., used "outright fabrications" while canvassing for donations.

Phipps has engaged in campaigns for the Association of Indiana State Troopers, VFW Department of Indiana, National Vietnam Veterans Foundation, Inc., Pathway Family Center, and United Care USA.

About 20 consumer complaints have been filed with the attorney general's office against the Phipps group, Carter said.

Some of the allegations include mailing consumers a written pledge confirmation when the consumers never agreed to donate; telling consumers they donated to the charity in question sometime in the past when they never did; and posing as an officer or employee of the Indiana State Police while conducting campaigns on behalf of the Association of Indiana State Troopers.

Enforcing fund-raising laws is important, because consumers can't always distinguish between a charity and the fund-raising company hired to help it, Carter said. The laws help ensure that the charities don't get tarnished, he said.

Information about professional fund-raising campaigns are posted on the Indiana Attorney General's Web site.

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