(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today announced a lawsuit against Massachusetts-based Integral Resources Inc. for multiple violations of Ohio’s Charitable Organizations Act. The Attorney General also was granted a request for a temporary restraining order to stop Integral Resources from soliciting in Ohio.
“This professional solicitor misled Ohioans about who it was and how donors’ money would be used,” Attorney General DeWine said. “We are pushing to stop its deceptive campaigns in Ohio.”
Integral Resources is a professional solicitor based at 1972 Massachusetts Ave in Cambridge. It contacted Ohioans via phone to solicit for various charitable organizations, including Amnesty International USA and Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
According to the lawsuit, Integral Resources failed to notify potential donors that calls were coming from a professional solicitor (versus a charity) and misrepresented how much of donors’ contributions would go to the charity. For example, it said that 100 percent of a donation would go to the charity, when in reality only one percent of gross revenue would go to the charity. In one campaign, Integral Resources raised $33,539 on behalf of Amnesty International USA but failed to make any payments to Amnesty International.
The Attorney General’s lawsuit also charges Integral Resources with failing to properly register with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and breaching its fiduciary to charities. In the lawsuit, the Attorney General seeks permanent injunctive relief, full restitution, and civil penalties.
Individuals who receive calls seeking a donation should take the following steps to protect themselves:
Ask questions about who is calling. Professional solicitors, who are paid by charities to solicit on their behalf, must provide basic information about the charity, in addition to the solicitor’s own name, status as a professional solicitor, and if requested, the percentage of gross revenue that will be retained by the charity.
Ask for written information before sharing bank or credit card information over the phone.
Look for warning signs, including overly aggressive tactics or callers who are unable or unwilling to answer questions.
If you feel uncomfortable at any point during a call, hang up.
Due to the temporary restraining order, Integral Resources currently is not allowed to solicit in the state. Ohioans who receive a call from Integral Resources should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at 800-282-0515 or www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov
Temporary Restraining Order
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Kate Hanson: 614-466-3840