Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced Tuesday that he has reached a settlement with the New Jersey-based National Police Defense Foundation to resolve allegations that the organization misled Arkansas donors.
The consent agreement was filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court, where the foundation agreed to pay $120,000 in restitution to consumers and permanently stop all professional fundraising activities in the state, McDaniel’s office said in a statement.
McDaniel sued the National Police Defense Foundation and USA Publishing Group, Inc. of Conway in July 2013. The foundation retained USA Publishing, Inc. to solicit donations from Arkansas consumers, and the suit it still pending against the publishing group's owners, William and Kathleen Parker, according to the statement.
The National Police Defense Foundation paid $171,193 of the $231,004 that was raised in the state to USA Publishing for its fundraising service and only $500 went to charity.
McDaniel’s office said telemarketers often misrepresented themselves, saying they were first responders and the operation used names such as “Arkansas Police Defense Foundation” to lead consumers to believe the charity was Arkansas-based.