Attorney General Ellison permanently bans sham hospice charity, New Hope Foundation, from operating in Minnesota
Obtains settlement prohibiting sham hospice charity from any further activity in Minnesota due to its misleading solicitation practices and misuse of donations
August 9, 2019 (SAINT PAUL) — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has filed a court order that bans the Tennessee-based New Hope Foundation (“NHF”) from further operating in Minnesota and requires it to dissolve, due to its misleading solicitation practices and misuse of charitable donations. The court order also requires NHF and its president, Farrah Young, to pay a total of $160,000 as part of the settlement, which will be divided among eight states that jointly investigated NHF.
“Minnesotans are generous folks. We donate to charity because we want others to live with the same dignity and respect that we want for ourselves and our families. It’s appalling that a charity would exploit Minnesotans’ generosity by fundraising in the name of much-needed hospice care, only to use most of the money for other purposes,” Attorney General Ellison said. “As Attorney General, it’s my job to help Minnesotans afford their lives. That includes ensuring that money they generously donate to any charity is used as they intended.”
The court order alleges that NHF’s solicitations deceived donors by giving them the false impression that their contributions would be used to support hospice-related services in their local area. In reality, NHF was not providing hospice services in donors’ local areas, or making grants to hospice facilities in those areas. The court order also alleges that NHF’s president improperly used charitable monies to pay for personal expenses unrelated to NHF’s mission. The investigation further revealed that NHF spent the vast majority of the $11.9 million it has raised since 2012 on fundraising and other overhead expenses, including executive compensation of almost $100,000 annually, resulting in NHF becoming indebted to its fundraisers for more than half a million dollars.
This court order stems from a multistate investigation by the Attorney General’s Office and seven other state attorneys general from Arkansas, California, Kansas, Kentucky, New York, Ohio, and Tennessee.
As the Attorney General’s Office continues its work protecting Minnesotans from questionable “charities” and fraudulent solicitation practices, Attorney General Ellison encourages everyone to do their homework before making a donation. Ask any charity questions about how it plans to use your donation. Do not feel obligated to donate to a charity until you are comfortable you know enough to make an informed decision. For more information on how to research a charity before donating — or to file a complaint about a charity — contact the Attorney General’s Office:
Office of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison
445 Minnesota Street, Suite 1400
St. Paul, MN 55101
(651) 296-3353 (Twin Cities Calling Area)
(800) 657-3787 (Outside the Twin Cities)
(800) 627-3529 (Minnesota Relay)