DELHI, N.Y. (WBNG Binghamton) -- New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman on Wednesday announced that his office has filed a lawsuit against Angel's Gate, Inc. and its CEO Susan Marino for violating New York law by persistently failing to file and make publicly available the financial reports required of charitable organizations.
According to a news release from Schneiderman's office:
The Attorney General's lawsuit seeks dissolution of Angel's Gate, located at 510 Archie Elliot Road in Delhi, as well as the removal of Marino as an officer and director for the not-for-profit entity.
"Transparency is vitally important in ensuring that charitable funds are being properly utilized," said Attorney General Schneiderman. "Those who generously donate their hard-earned money need to know that their funds are not being wasted or spent on causes that they never intended to support. As the regulator of charities, my office is dedicated to protect donors and beneficiaries of those charities from unscrupulous practices."
New York's Executive Law and Estates, Powers and Trusts Law requires all organizations who solicit and receive funds for a charitable purpose to register with the Attorney General's Office and file annual financial disclosure forms. These financial records are available for review by the general public and prospective donors.
According to the Attorney General's suit, Angel's Gate has taken in hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in donations from the general public without publicly accounting for any of those funds. This is not an accident or mere oversight, the suit alleges; Angel's Gate has failed to file financial reports consistently for the past four years.
The Attorney General's Office is asking the Court to remove Marino as an officer and director of the corporation and dissolve the corporation. Hon. Carl F. Becker, Acting Supreme Court Justice, has issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting Angel's Gate and Marino from soliciting and receiving any further donations, as well as taking in any new animals. The Court also directed that Angel's Gate's funds can only be used for direct animal care and no other purpose.
The Court has scheduled further court proceedings for October 1, 2012.