Many of the charities started up after the September 11 terrorist attacks only exploited 9/11 for profit, failing to deliver funds to promised parties, a new report says.
According to an article released today by The Associated Press, some of the charity organizations that originated out of the aftermath of 9/11 have “failed miserably.” In several instances, charities investigated by the AP were unable to account for money they brought in, failed to file require tax returns and in some cases clearly documented that they spent donations on themselves.
Hundreds of charities exist a decade later under the guise of helping those that suffered through September 11, but of those still operating, many are collecting funds that are not going towards what they say. In one example cited by the AP, donations went towards funding the founder’s for-profit company. Another charity probed was unable to account for over $4 million in raised revenue.
The AP investigated 325 charities in all that were founded after 9/11, which advertised themselves as benefitting families and victims of the tragedy or created the memorialize the event by other means. One of those proposed memorials, a massive quilt, managed to bring in over $700,000 for the charity — enough to sew one hell of a blanket, but mysteriously it was never made. Even after collecting nearly three-quarters of a million dollar, the only thing that charity has to show for itself are a few hundred decorated sheets in an Arizona storage unit. When the AP approached the chairman of the board, an octogenarian priest, he said that not only was he unaware that the founder had taken tens of thousands of donated dollars to be used towards rental payments — but that he didn’t even know he was the chairman of the board.
In another instance, The Rev. Lyndon Harris’ “Garden of Forgiveness” raked in $200,000 to construct a memorial, but the garden became forgotten and the priest paid himself a salary from more than half of the raised funds.
Even a highly publicized motorcycle rally that brought 3,000 bikes to all three 9/11 crash sites this summer has been caught in corruption; the AP says that only 20 percent of the money they have raised went towards charitable causes.
Despite the corrupt supposed charities, the AP does note that most of the groups investigated were operating accordingly. Others, like the Urban Life Ministries church operated by Rev. Carl Keyes — not so much. When the AP reminded him that the church has only filed one tax return since 2001, he responded with “We’re not very good at that.”