The founder of a professional fund-raising company with ties to Warren has been ordered to pay $125,000 in civil penalties for using deceptive tactics while soliciting money for a veterans’ charity. He is also prohibited from being involved in public charity or solicitation in Massachusetts.
Thomas Gity Jr. of Pampano Beach, Fla., the founder of Dynamic Marketing Solutions of North Providence, appeared before a Massachusetts Superior Court Judge on Tuesday. He was ordered to pay $125,000 in civil penalties for engaging in deceptive practices and violations while conducting charitable solicitations for Bay State Vietnam Veterans, Inc., a Somerset charity.
“This defendant is being held responsible for misleading donors to believe that all donations were going directly to benefit veterans when in fact a very small percentage was going to that purpose,” Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said. Also implicated in the suit was John Chaves of Warren, Dynamic Marketing’s president.
Under the terms of the final judgment, Mr. Gity, Mr. Chaves, employees, and anyone else involved in the operation, are permanently prohibited from being involved in any capacity at a Massachusetts public charity or any entity that solicits charitable funds from Massachusetts residents, and from engaging in any deceptive acts while conducting telemarketing or solicitation.
Massachusetts alleged that Dynamic, hired by Bay State to raise funds, deceived potential donors by falsely stating that 100 percent of their donations would benefit veterans. Only 15 percent of the solicited funds went to support veterans and 85 percent of the funds went back to Dynamic for their fund-raising services.
According to the lawsuit, Dynamic’s professional fund-raisers misled potential donors by falsely stating that donations would benefit veterans living in their communities.
It was also alleged that Dynamic’s professional fundraisers misled potential donors by falsely claiming they were volunteers for the charity and in some cases deceptively stated that they were veterans returning from Afghanistan. They also did not inform donors of their status as professional fund-raisers, as required by Massachusetts law.