August 7, 2018; Tacoma Weekly News
Yesterday, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced he had filed a lawsuit seeking to close six soundalike nonprofit organizations established by former stockbroker Ian Richard Hosang, who is known to have Mafia ties. The names of the six may sound kind of familiar: American Cancer Society of Seattle, American Cancer Society of Washington, American Red Cross of Seattle, American Red Cross of Washington, United Way of Seattle, and United Way of Washington. All, of course, bear an uncomfortable resemblance to the names of real, reputable nonprofits, and some are identical to them. Ferguson believes they may have been established to hide illegal activity, because none have been used for fundraising.
Eight other states, including Florida, Wisconsin, and Ohio, have experienced the same problem, even down to the names being used.
“I’m deeply concerned that a convicted money launderer created these sham nonprofits using the names of legitimate, internationally recognized organizations,” said Ferguson. “If you donated to any of these nonprofits, please contact my office.”
Hosang, who does not reside in the state of Washington, is alleged in the suit to have violated the Consumer Protection Act and the Nonprofit Corporations Act.
Nonprofit corporations operating in Washington must have a legitimate address along with records of finances and associates and must provide the benefits, service or educa