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Crime and Courts


Cleveland charity ordered to pay $320,000 civil penalty
TEEN USA said it had kids sell candy door-to-door to raise money for schools, poor people and sports teams
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
AG Mike DeWine says TEEN USA violated a previous deal.
Courtesy of File photo
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In The Region:

A Cleveland man has been ordered to pay a civil penalty of $320,000 for running what the state calls a “sham charity.”

A Franklin County judge issued the judgment against  TEEN USA and Darien Smith today, saying they had violated the terms of an agreement signed just eight months ago. Smith was to have dissolved TEEN USA, and promised not to solicit money for any charitable organization. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says he continued to run the operation, which sent teens door-to-door to sell candy.

The charity said its purpose is to raise money for low-income people, sports teams and schools. But the Attorney General’s office says Smith misappropriated funds while he was operating the agency from 2010 to 2013.

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