$2.5 million recovered from sham cancer charities; funds to go to cancer centers

Cancer centers across the country will share $2.5 million recovered in a multistate enforcement action against sham cancer charities, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced.

The $2.5 million was recovered through settlements of a landmark lawsuit against four affiliated sham charities – the Cancer Fund of America, Inc., The Breast Cancer Society, Inc., Cancer Support Services, Inc., and the Children’s Cancer Fund of America – and their founder James Reynolds and other individuals, according to the attorney general’s office.

The settlements put in place a receiver who seized and liquidated all available corporate and personal assets. The people responsible for fronting the false charities are all banned from any charity or fundraising activities for the rest of their lives.

This distribution marks the conclusion of the lawsuit, brought by Kansas and other plaintiffs in May 2015. The suit was the first time that all 50 States, the District of Columbia and the Federal Trade Commission joined together to shut down sham charities.

The complaint alleged that the so-called charities, led by James Reynolds and his family members, bilked the public out of more than $187 million dollars in donations between 2008 and 2012. Most of the money collected was paid to professional fundraisers or squandered by the defendants. Of the money the defendants collected, only 3 percent was directed to cancer patients in the United States in the form of “care packages” containing religious DVDs, Moon Pies, random items of clothing, and various sundries.

Cancer Fund of American also claimed to supply patients with pain medications and transportation to chemotherapy treatments, but in fact it provided no such services. The charities also participated in a “gift-in-kind” program in which they sent drugs that had nothing to do with cancer to other countries. The complaint alleged that the purpose of this program was to make the organizations appear larger than they were and to hide their high fundraising costs.

The complaint also alleged that the leaders of these sham charities used donated funds to pay themselves exorbitant salaries and to go on trips to destinations like Thailand, Las Vegas and Disneyworld. The Reynolds also bought themselves cars, boats, jet skis and houses and used the charities’ credit cards to buy designer handbags, jewelry and clothing and to pay for day-to-day expenses such as gas, groceries and utility bills.

The money will be transferred to Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) who, under a services agreement with the plaintiffs, will distribute the funds to select health and medical programs targeting breast and pediatric cancer. Eligibility will be determined through an invitation-only application process, and is limited to NCI-designated Cancer Care Centers, a designation bestowed by the National Cancer Institute on institutions and programs recognized for their scientific leadership, resources, and the depth and breadth of their research.

As an NCI-designated Cancer Center as of 2012, the University of Kansas Cancer Center will be eligible to apply for funds.

“Because only limited funds could be recovered, it is impractical to return the money to its donors,” Schmidt said. “Therefore, it was agreed by the states and the federal government that the best option available is to carry out the donor’s wishes to support cancer services by providing these funds to bona fide cancer centers.”

The case was Federal Trade Commission, et al. v. Cancer Fund of America, Inc., et al., Civil Action No. 2:15-cv-00884-NVW in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. A copy of the order approving the fund distribution plan is available at https://bit.ly/2x3d4vA.

Sunny weather today; rivers flooding; storms possible Tuesday

Wolcott Drive (K-5) was closed at Hutton Road in Kansas City, Kansas, on Sunday because of flooding and heavy rains over the weekend.
National Weather Service graphic
Wyandotte County is at a slight risk for severe weather on Tuesday afternoon. (National Weather Service graphic)

The National Weather Service forecast Monday calls for sunny weather with a high near 80, and storms could follow on Tuesday. River flooding continues.

Severe storms are possible Tuesday afternoon, the weather service said. Flash flooding, hail, high wind and a few tornadoes will be possible then.

Wyandotte County and the surrounding area experienced heavy rains last weekend, with most of the area receiving more than 3 inches of rain. According to the weather service, June precipitation in Kansas City totals 7.64 inches, well above the normal average for the entire month of 5.23 inches. Kansas City is experiencing its wettest year on record to date.

River flooding continues along the Missouri River, according to the weather service. The Missouri River at Parkville, an area that includes Wyandotte County, rose into moderate flood stage on Sunday. The gauge is at I-435 and the Missouri River, between Wyandotte and Platte counties. The Kansas River at 23rd Street, where the gauge is at Kansas Avenue and the state line, rose into minor flood stage on Sunday, according to hydrology charts.

Today’s forecast is sunny with a high near 80 and a west wind around 7 mph, the weather service said.

Tonight, it will be clear with a low of 64 and a light south southwest wind, according to the weather service.

Tuesday, there is a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1 p.m., with a high near 89, the weather service said, and a southeast winf of 6 mph.

Tuesday night, there is a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 1 a.m., according to the weather service. The low will be around 68 with a light south wind. Less than a tenth of an inch of rain is expected.

Wednesday, it will be mostly sunny with a high near 88 and a calm wind, the weather service said.

Thursday, it will be partly cloudy with a low of 70, the weather service said.

Thursday night, it will be partly cloudy with a low of 71, according to the weather service.

Friday, it will be mostly sunny, with a high near 90, the weather service said.

Friday night, it will be partly cloudy with a low of 71, according to the weather service.

Saturday, it will be mostly sunny, with a high near 91, the weather service said.

Saturday night, it will be mostly clear, with a low of 70, according to the weather service.

Sunday, it will be mostly sunny, with a high near 91, the weather service said.

For more weather information, visit www.weather.gov.

The Missouri River at Parkville rose into the moderate flood stage on Sunday. This gauge is located on I-435 over the Missouri River between Wyandotte and Platte counties. (National Weather Service – USGS graphic)
The Kansas River at 23rd Street, where the gauge is at Kansas Avenue at the state line, rose into minor flood stage on Sunday. (National Weather Service – USGS graphic)
The Missouri River at Kansas City, where the gauge is on U.S. 169, near I-70 and the City Market in Kansas City, Missouri, went into minor flood stage on Sunday. (National Weather Service – USGS graphic)

T-Bones split doubleheader, win series

by Sophie Darting

After the second game of the series between the Kansas City T-Bones and the Cleburne Railroaders was postponed during the middle of the third inning last night owing to rain, it was picked up this afternoon at T-Bones Stadium in Kansas City, Kansas The T-Bones’ bullpen labored through the completion of the game, giving up nine runs while the offense was quiet in a 12-2 loss to the Railroaders.

Before the rain interfered with the game, Cleburne (16-19) claimed a 2-0 lead with one run in the second inning off of a John Nester sacrifice fly scored Daniel Robertson and another run in the third frame when Robertson singled in K.C. Huth.

Both teams showed some offense in the fourth inning, after the game resumed, with the Railroaders scoring a run off of an RBI-single by K.C. Huth scored Nester and the T-Bones (16-17), using a trio of singles by Chris Colabello, Casey Gillaspie and Forrestt Allday to score their first run of the contest, but still trailing 3-1.

The top of the fifth inning is what doomed the T-Bones, with the bullpen struggling and allowing Cleburne to put up a five-spot.

The Railroaders’ offense was on the attack, scoring five runs behind singles by Zach Nehrir, Robertson, and Buck, a walk by Hunter Clanin, and a pair of players hit by a pitch in Logan Trowbridge and Huth. Nick Rotola capped off the inning with a two-run single to make it 8-1 in Cleburne’s advantage.

Kansas City got a run back after an RBI-groundout by Dylan Tice scored Mason Davis, who reached base with a single, to make it an 8-2 ballgame.

Clanin padded the Railroaders’ lead with a two-out, three-run bomb that scored Nester and Chase Simpson in the top of the sixth inning, forcing the T-Bones to trail by nine runs 11-2. Cleburne added another run in the top of the ninth.

The nine-run deficit proved to be too daunting for the T-Bones to overcome, and they did not score another run, falling to the Railroaders. Kenny Koplove (0-1) was credited the loss for Kansas City and Braden Pearson (3-1) got the win for Cleburne.

T-Bones win game two, 8-2

by Gabby Albertson

The Kansas City T-Bones had game three of the doubleheader in the bag since the start of the game. After a loss in game two, they were determined to beat the Cleburne Railroaders, and that’s exactly what they did. The T-Bones won the series with a final score of 8-2.

Kansas City made it on the board first with a back-to-back home run by Danny Mars and Dylan Tice. Then, Roy Morales hit a single and advanced Christopher Colabello to home. Casey Gillaspie came home on a single hit by Mason Davis, making the score 4-0 in the bottom of the first.

In the bottom of the second, Gillaspie hit a two-run home run allowing Tice to score for the T-Bones, making the score 6-0.

The Railroaders finally made it on the board, 6-2, in the top of the third. A double by Chase Simpson advanced K.C. Huth to home. Daniel Robertson later hit a double, scoring Simpson.

Soon after, Ramsey Romano hit a double, allowing Forrestt Allday to score to further Kansas City’s lead, 7-2, in the bottom of the third. The T-Bones went ahead 8-2 in the bottom of the sixth. Gillaspie hit a single sending Tice home.

The winning pitcher for the Kansas City T-Bones was Henry Owens (1-0) and the losing pitcher for the Cleburne Railroaders was Charlie Gillies (1-4).

The Kansas City T-Bones will play their next series at 7:05 p.m. Monday, June 24, with the Chicago Dogs at Impact Field in Chicago. The game can be heard on the T-Bones Broadcast Network at http://mixlr.com/t-bones-baseball/.

The next home game will be at 7:05 p.m. July 2 at T-Bones Stadium against the Sioux Falls Canaries.

Full and half-season 2019 ticket packages as well as mini plans are on sale online or by calling 913-328-5618 or by visiting the Saint Luke’s Box Office between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Group ticket sales are also on sale.

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