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January 29, 2015

Wash. State Hits Police Charity and Fundraising Firm on Tactics

A Washington State law-enforcement charity will make changes in its fundraising as part of a deal with state authorities over the group's use of a commercial telemarketer that pocketed nearly two-thirds of contributions, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Officials said Corporations for Character made $1.5-million soliciting for the Washington Fraternal Order of Police in pitches that often centered on helping the families of slain officers but did not mention that most of a donor's gift would go to the Utah-based firm.

The Washington attorney general's office claimed the solicitations violated state laws on giving. Under settlements reached this month, the charity and the company will collectively pay $63,000 to cover the state's expenses for the investigation and agreed that solicitors would henceforth identify themselves as paid fundraisers. Corporations for Character also faces a U.S. Justice Department inquiry into alleged consumer-protection violations.