State of Minnesota
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Attorney General
Lori Swanson


Minnesota Attorney General's Office

1400 Bremer Tower
445 Minnesota Street
St. Paul, MN 55101

(651) 296-3353
(800) 657-3787

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The Wildcat Sanctuary Assurance of Discontinuance

SUMMARY OF ASSURANCE OF DISCONTINUANCE
WITH THE WILDCAT SANCTUARY

The following is a summary of certain terms of the Assurance of Discontinuance with The Wildcat Sanctuary (“TWS”), a Minnesota charitable organization, filed in Ramsey County District Court on April 22, 2014:

I. BOARD GOVERNANCE

  • The Board shall review and evaluate all employee and independent contractor or consultant positions to determine the scope and reasonableness of the job description, the reasonableness of the compensation, the hiring practices for such positions, and the employee’s or contractor’s or consultant’s qualifications for the position.
  • The Board shall evaluate and determine the Executive Director’s role within the organization.
  • The Board shall evaluate and document the policies, procedures, and parameters of its volunteer program and make available to the public a clear explanation of the process by which volunteers may apply and be allowed to participate in the organization.
  • At least three additional directors shall be added to the TWS Board of Directors.

II. FINANCIAL GOVERNANCE

  • The Board shall review and evaluate all TWS expenses to determine their reasonableness and propriety.
  • The Board shall review and document the identities of and the number of individuals who are authorized to sign checks or withdraw money on behalf of TWS, including any signatories for any ATM/cash, credit or debit cards held by or for TWS.
  • The Board shall retain an independent, certified public accountant to evaluate its recordkeeping practices and establish procedures for keeping accurate and complete financial records of TWS.
  • The Board, in consultation with the independent, certified public accountant, shall develop written internal financial control procedures which shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

    - Only appropriate person(s), designated by the Board, shall have access to, handle, record, and deposit cash and checks on behalf of TWS.

    - More than one person shall receive, record, deposit, and account for individual donations.

    - All bank accounts shall be reconciled on a timely basis.

    - Procedures shall be established for tracking or coding contributions, grants and other funds restricted for certain programs or services.

    - All checks over $500 shall require two signatures, including one from a member of the Board.

    - Procedures shall be established for tracking and coding all petty cash transactions.

    - Written procedures shall be established to ensure the accuracy of solicitations and information to donors.

    - Written procedures shall be established for reporting, correcting and disciplining for violations of internal financial controls procedures.

  • TWS shall work with an independent certified public accountant to ensure that TWS is in compliance with all local, state, and federal laws and regulations regarding taxation and nonprofit governance.
  • TWS shall not allow personal charges to be made using any TWS ATM/cash, credit or debit cards, petty cash funds, or from any TWS bank accounts.

III. THIRD PARTY MONITOR

  • A third-party monitor shall be appointed for a minimum of two (2) years.
  • The third-party monitor shall provide guidance and instruction to the Board, including on Board governance policies and practices; financial reporting, policies and practices; financial internal controls, policies, and practices; accuracy in solicitations; and best practices for charitable, non-profit, tax exempt organizations.
  • The third-party monitor shall have full and unfettered access to all of TWS’s business and financial records and accounting, TWS’s Board of Directors and Board and committee meetings, TWS employees and volunteers, and the content of TWS solicitations.
  • The third-party monitor shall attend and participate in Board meetings and all Board communications.

IV. ADDITIONAL OVERSIGHT OF EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

  • Any Executive Director shall not serve as a director of the organization.
  • The Board shall enter into an at-will employment agreement with any Executive Director of TWS. The agreement shall prohibit the executive director from commingling personal expenses with those of the organization and shall prohibit expenses from being reimbursed that are not authorized by the written agreement.
  • The Executive Director shall obtain at least fourteen hours of training in the duties associated with a nonprofit organization.

V. EXAMINATION AND REPAYMENT OF PERSONAL EXPENSES

  • The Board shall undertake a comprehensive review of TWS’s financial accounts and records to calculate and report on the total amount of TWS funds that were used by the executive director for personal purposes.
  • TWS shall recoup these funds from the executive director.
  • TWS shall amend any tax returns, tax records, publicly filed audits and other publicly filed financial documents, and issue any 1099s or amended W2s as required under law, consistent with the repayment report and plan.

VI. ADDITIONAL COMPLIANCE WITH MINNESOTA LAW

  • TWS shall comply with all state and federal laws applicable to its activities, including but not limited to, Minnesota Statutes Chapter 309 governing charitable organizations; Chapter 317A governing nonprofit corporations; Chapter 501B governing charitable trusts, and any successor provisions.
  • TWS shall complete its IRS Form 990 in accordance with IRS instructions.
  • TWS shall ensure that its solicitations are truthful and not misleading.

Click here to read the full Assurance of Discontinuance PDF