Safety publications Inc engaged call center workers with criminal records on minimum wage to plead with ordinary Americans for donations. Money to equip law enforcement with bullet proof vests, veterans and sick children. Donations poured in to to the for profit telemarketing company. From 2008 through to 2014 $4.9 million was raised as confirmed to Illinois authorities. However what percentage of the proceeds and donations actually found their way to charities appears to be negligible.
Around 15 cents in every dollar was forwarded on to charities and these insignificant amounts were soon swallowed up by administration and overheads leaving little or nothing for those in need. The group and an affiliated charity telemarketer have also employed around ten telesales callers who have criminal records. Including child rape, forgery and bank robbery from 2007. This practice continued irrespective of Illinois strict rules against those with criminal records raising money for charity. One of those employees with criminal records was a 51 year old with 10 bank robberies, aggravated burglary and the theft of large quantities of industrial plant and equipment to his portfolio.
Essentially he was introduced to the call center by others with criminal records he met at a halfway house in Chicago. Safety Publications Inc co-owners Arthur Olivera and Adam Herdman put forward a written statement that they work hard to adhere to state laws. Olivera and Herdman were pursued for years by Illinois’ attorney general with court allegations that they hired those with criminal records as callers, failed state filings as required and that the public was misled. Reputable non profits and the government have been frustrated within this sector for years. Sub standard charities that practice with relative impunity and in the case of Safety Publications Inc using felons with criminal records to relieve Americans of their hard earned cash.
To protect the public charities are required to report amounts raised and the percentages they take. Telemarketers must also make data available to charities as to any callers with criminal records. Reports available to the public from 2007 revealed shortfalls over where the donations ended up and how it was raised. Safety publications Inc did not provide a list of it’s employees to the attorney general for the period 2011 through 2012.
Hundreds of tele sales papers are filed every year along with thousands of call center employees and over 30,000 charities. Every filing can’t be investigated to determine the bad apples. Neither is the attorney general expected to confirm callers criminal records and backgrounds.
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