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Fund-Raising Group Told to Account for Money

March 25, 1995|MARK I. PINSKY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SANTA ANA — An Orange County fund-raising group has been barred from soliciting more money until it provides a full accounting of the money it has raised, Atty. Gen. Dan Lungren announced Friday.

The ruling names Orange County Charitable Services of Irvine; its owner, Mitchell D. Gold; his father, Herb Gold; his sister, Cindy Seide, and a business associate, J.P. Cohen. It also names American Veterans Assistance Corp., United Citizens Against Drugs, and Stop the Pain, all of which are under the umbrella of Orange County Charitable Services.

While the fund-raisers contended to be helping various causes, like child abuse prevention, drug abuse prevention and assistance to homeless veterans, "in reality, more than 90% of all funds raised were used to pay the defendants' fund-raising fees," Lungren said.

The fund-raisers, who have been the subject of investigation and litigation for years, had raised nearly $15 million in California since 1988 by misleading donors, the court found.

Of this total, Lungren said, "it is estimated that millions of dollars were misappropriated."

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