A Youngstown-based charitable organization was forced to pay nearly $1 million because investigators found they did little charitable work.
The Ohio Attorney General’s office said Friday that the American Breast Cancer Federation and the American Veterans Federation, both created and run by Brandon Malone of Youngstown, was ordered by Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Andrew Logan to pay $977,628 in damages, restitution and other costs.
The two charity groups claimed they were helping veterans and those suffering from breast cancer. They took money from donors but never used the money as they said they would.
The attorney general’s office said Malone created the American Breast Cancer Federation in March 2010. They claimed they would use money donated to increase awareness, counsel patients and give financial assistants to those with breast cancer.
The group raised at least $366,000 and donated $600 to aid breast cancer patients, the attorney general’s office said.
The American Veteran’s Federation, created in April 2011, similarly claimed to help veterans in need but never assisted any veterans.
The attorney general’s office sued the companies, Malone, PJG Enterprises, who solicited donations for the fake charities, and their owner, Paul Grossi in April 2012.
Logan, in July, ordered the charities pay $578,628 and later ordered the group to pay another $399,000.
The attorney general’s office said they would use the money to distribute to breast cancer and veteran’s charities.