Missouri Attorney General Sues Internet Radio Operator For Charity Fraud
July 25, 2011 at 5:15 AM (PT)
The ASSOCIATED PRESS reports that STEVEN BLOOD, known as WOODY NELSON on the air, is being sued by the MISSOURI Attorney General for allegedly fraudulently soliciting donations through the internet to help victims of the JOPLIN, MO and northern ALABAMA tornadoes, money that the Attorney General says did not go to help the victims but instead was used by BLOOD for his own expenses.
Attorney General CHRIS KOSTER is alleging that BLOOD, who operates an Internet radio station, "COWBOY BILL'S RADIO," and says he is the CEO of GEORGIA TRIANGLE BROADCASTING, sold "Storm-Aid" t-shirts and claimed to be setting up benefit concerts, collecting almost $5,000, but is using the money to pay his own expenses. In a press release, KOSTER said, "None of the money has gone to help tornado victims, but rather, has been used for BLOOD’s personal expenses."
BLOOD, who also announced a "Storm-Aid" concert in ALABAMA that was cancelled after it was discovered that the artists announced for the show were in reality booked elsewhere or not booked for the show, told AP that he is using the t-shirt money to cover his operating costs, and said, "Ultimately we want to help victims, but we're not saying this money is going to anybody, except that we have to raise capital."
KOSTER is asking the court to issue an injunction against BLOOD further violating the Merchandising Practices Acr and to require all funds to go to the intended recipients, along with full restitution to donors, a civil penalty of $1,000 per violation of the law, a state penalty of 10% of the total restitution, and costs.