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Cuccinelli announces settlement with Journey for the Cure charity

- Charity made false statements, failed to keep true financial records, solicited without being registered with the state -

(February 28, 2012) - Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli announced today that a settlement has been reached with the Journey for the Cure Foundation and its chairman, Tareq Salahi, for allegedly making false statements and submitting inaccurate financial statements to the commonwealth's overseer of charities, among other offenses.

Journey for the Cure Foundation (JCF) is a Fauquier County-based fundraising organization that was formed to support individuals struggling with diseases such as multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, leukemia, and lymphoma. JCF would conduct fund raisers to raise money for charities that helped individuals afflicted with those diseases.

According to the attorney general's complaint filed with the settlement, JCF allegedly violated the Virginia Solicitation of Contributions (VSOC) law by:

The attorney general further alleged that Salahi himself violated the VSOC law by:

The settlement includes the following key terms:

         (1) The commonwealth is granted a permanent injunction prohibiting JCF and Salahi  from engaging in any further violations of the VSOC law;

         (2) The commonwealth is granted a monetary judgment against JCF in the amount of $25,000 for civil penalties for JCF's violations of the VSOC law;

         (3) The commonwealth is granted a monetary judgment against Salahi in the amount of  $2,500 for civil penalties for Salahi's alleged violations of the VSOC law; and

         (4) The commonwealth is granted a monetary judgment against JCF in the amount of  $7,500 to compensate the commonwealth for its attorneys' fees and costs.   

The attorney general was able to obtain injunctive relief directly against Salahi, not just the charity. If Salahi were to form another charitable organization and then commit similar violations, the injunction could make him subject to civil or criminal contempt of court charges, in addition to further civil penalties.

In December 2009, the OCA announced an investigation into the practices of JCF. In May 2011, OCA referred its investigative findings to the attorney general for potential enforcement action.

The settlement, which is in the form of a consent judgment, has been filed for approval with the Fauquier County Circuit Court.  

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A copy of this news release may be found on the attorney general's web site here.

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