December 19, 2011
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster said today he has mailed checks to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Mansfield and to Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri, each in the amount of $4,490.37. The restitution was part of a settlement agreement against Alivio Foundation, Inc., based in Puerto Rico, for allegedly fraudulently soliciting donations for these charities to help victims of the May 22 Joplin tornado.
Koster said that soon after the tornado, Alivio began soliciting donations through a PayPal link on its website and through Crowdrise, an online donation conduit. Alivio claimed the donations would go to “St. Peter The Apostle Catholic Church and Caritas (Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri)”and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Marshfield to be use to assist survivors and relatives of Joplin tornado victims. Neither organization had ever heard of the Alivio Foundation, nor had they received any funds from it.
“Unfortunately, there are always those who will take advantage of unsuspecting consumers during times of tragedy,” Koster said, “I’m gratified that the Attorney General’s Office was able to recover these donations and put them in the hands of the organizations the generous donors intended. The donors now can rest assured the money they donated will be used to benefit the Joplin tornado victims.”
Koster said the agreement also prohibits Alivio from further soliciting donations in Missouri.