September 16, 2005
St. Louis, Mo. — A St. Louis City Circuit judge today granted Attorney General Jay Nixon's request for an injunction to shut down deceptive charitable soliciting by a self-proclaimed white separatist from the St. Louis area. Nixon sued Frank Weltner last week after Weltner set up several Web sites with Hurricane Katrina-related themes that solicited funds under the guise of helping victims, but actually directed those donations into the same account used to promote racist and anti-Semitic Internet sites with which he was associated.
Nixon said Weltner registered at least 10 Internet domain names with themes related to relief of hurricane victims. Individuals who visited such Web sites as donate-katrina.com, katrinafamilies.com and neworleanscharities.com saw photos of the disaster and a pitch to donate. Individuals who clicked on the "donate" button of any of these Web sites were redirected to InternetDonations.org — the same collection site Weltner used for JewWatch.com, which is widely regarded as an anti-Semitic hate site.
In his lawsuit, Nixon said that none of the Web sites were registered as charitable organizations, were not properly registered as tax exempt entities, and that Weltner failed to disclose that donations were not tax-deductible.
"The bottom line is that would-be donors were deceived," Nixon said. "Charitable donations are intended as an act of love, not an instrument that could be used to fund hate."
The injunction signed by Circuit Judge Julian Bush prohibits Weltner from soliciting charitable donations in Missouri or acting as a professional fundraiser for charitable purposes and places a freeze on the accounts used to collect funds for the Katrina-related Web sites. Weltner was further ordered to give the Attorney General's Office a full accounting of all donations made and any withdrawals or disbursements.
From 1992 to January 2005, Weltner was known as "Couch Potato" on his St. Louis radio show, which often carried racist themes. He has been associated with the National Alliance, listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as one of the nation's largest and most active neo-Nazi hate groups.