Target: John Koskinen Commissioner, Internal Revenue Service
Goal: Investigate fraud allegedly committed by National Leukemia Foundation and its proprietors.
Over a three year period, the National Children’s Leukemia Foundation raised nearly $10 million from donors across the country. Sadly, it appears that less than 1 percent of these funds were actually donated to the cause. The Brooklyn, NY based charity, in its fundraising literature, also claimed to have a bone marrow donor registry and a cancer research building. The New York Attorney General’s (AG) investigation has discovered that neither of these things existed.
Many of the donated funds were in support of the seemingly nonexistent Make a Dream Come True program. The program, if it had existed, would have arranged for trips and celebrity meetings for children with cancer and their families.
According the AG investigation, the National Children’s Leukemia Foundation was nothing more than a one man operation in the basement of Zvi Shor’s Brooklyn, NY home. According the petition filed with the courts, Mr. Shor had run a construction and plumbing business prior to starting the National Leukemia Foundation. As founder and CEO, he paid himself nearly $600,000 in salary with another $600,000 in deferred compensation and the promise of a lifetime pension of over $100,000 a year.
The New York Attorney General has an uphill battle prosecuting this case since current New York state laws do not consider charities fraud in and of itself a crime. In order for Mr. Shor to be convicted and punished in New York, the AG will have to demonstrate other crimes such as embezzlement, larceny, or tax fraud. The IRS and Department of Justice (DOJ), however, already collaborate to investigate and prosecute charities fraud.
Sign this petition and ask the IRS to conduct their own investigation of the National Children’s Leukemia Foundation and take whatever steps are necessary to punish Mr. Shor and any other accountable parties.
Dear Commissioner Koskinen,
The state of New York is currently investigating the National Children’s Leukemia Foundation for theft of funds and making false claims in their fundraising literature. According to documents filed with the courts, the charity donated less than 1 percent of the nearly $10 million raised between 2009 – 2014. The investigation indicates that most of the funds went to pay the founder, and sole employee, nearly $1,200,000 in salary and deferments and an additional $100,000 a year in lifetime pension.
The investigation further concludes that the National Leukemia Foundation’s fundraising literature sites programs and resources that did not exist. Chief among these are a bone marrow donor registry, a cancer research building, and the Make a Dream Come True Program. There is, in fact, a bone marrow donor registry, but it is administered by Be The Match and was never affiliated with the National Children’s Leukemia Foundation.
Since current New York state laws do not consider charities fraud a crime on its own, Zvi Shor and any potential accessories may go unpunished. We, the undersigned urge you to use the resources available to the IRS and the DOJ to investigate Mr. Shor and the National Leukemia Foundation and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Jenny Mealing