#AceNewsReport – Aug.05: According to court documents, MS-13 is a national and transnational gang composed largely of individuals of Salvadoran or other Central American descent. MS-13 has more than 10,000 members regularly conducting gang activities in at least 10 states and Washington, D.C., with thousands more conducting gang activities in Central America and Mexico.
#AceDailyNews reports that a case that is part of an ‘Organised Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Investigation has indicted 4-MS-13 Members for 10 Murders, Kidnapping and Racketeering Charges…..
The individuals charged in the superseding indictment are: Luis Reynaldo Reyes-Castillo, 27, aka Molesto; David Arturo Perez-Manchame, 22, aka Herbi, aka Walter Melendez; Joel Vargas-Escobar, 25, aka Mumia; and Alexander De Jesus Figueroa-Torres, 25.
The purpose of the MS-13 enterprise includes preserving, promoting, and protecting the power, territory, and profits of the enterprise through the use of intimidation and violence, including murder, and enriching members and associates of the enterprise through criminal activities, including breaking into houses and stealing firearms, jewelry, cash, and other items of value, and selling narcotics. MS-13 is organized by subsets known as “cliques,” and each clique typically has one or more leaders, commonly referred to as “shot callers.”
The superseding indictment charges alleged members of the Parkview clique operating in Las Vegas, Nevada, with Racketeering (RICO) Conspiracy and multiple counts of murder and kidnapping in aid of racketeering, as well as firearms charges. More specifically, the indictment charges the following acts of violence occurring over an approximately 12-month period:
March 3, 2017
Dec. 31, 2017
Jan. 18, 2018
C.P. kidnapped and murdered
Jan. 21, 2018
A.S. kidnapped and murdered
Feb. 2, 2018
Feb. 6, 2018
J. H. murdered
Feb. 6, 2018
Feb. 6, 2018
J.C. shot and wounded
I.T. kidnapped and murdered
R.P. kidnapped and murdered
March 1, 2018
E.R. kidnapped and murdered
“The Criminal Division and our federal, state and local partners are committed to dismantling violent gangs like MS-13,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The violence alleged in the superseding indictment in this case is truly shocking. The murder spree carried out by MS-13 in Las Vegas clearly shows the danger posed by organized street gangs like MS-13.”
“By significantly undermining MS-13’s ability to engage in violence in Las Vegas, the hard work and dedication of our law enforcement partners have made our communities safer,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Christopher Chiou for the District of Nevada. “Our office remains committed to protecting our neighborhoods against gang violence and other criminal activity by prosecuting dangerous transnational criminal organizations like MS-13.”
“Taking violent offenders off the street should send a message to MS-13 members and their associates that violence and murder will not be tolerated in Las Vegas,” said Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse of the FBI’s Las Vegas Field Office. “Working with our local partners, we are committed to staying in the fight until this plague is purged from our communities.”
Reyes-Castillo and Perez-Manchame are scheduled for their initial court appearance on Tuesday, Aug. 10 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Elayna J. Youchah of the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. If convicted, they face a mandatory sentence of life in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The FBI and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Homicide Bureau are investigating the case.
Trial attorneys Jeremy Franker and Chris Taylor of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Shaheen Torgoley of the District of Nevada are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
#AceNewsReport – June.08: A federal grand jury has returned a second superseding indictment that charges a total of 15 Baltimore defendants for their participating in violent racketeering and/or drug conspiracies. Eleven of the defendants, including seven new defendants, are charged with participating in a racketeering conspiracy that allegedly resulted in 18 murders, more than 27 attempted murders, carjackings, robberies, assaults, and witness intimidation that occurred between 2015 and November 2020. The second superseding indictment was returned on May 27, 2021 and unsealed late yesterday. Today’s announcement is the first public release related to the investigation and prosecution of members of the Triple C gang.
BALTIMORE: Fifteen Alleged Members and Associates of Baltimore “Triple C” Gang Facing Federal Indictment on Charges Related to Their Participation in Drug Distribution and/or Racketeering Conspiracies, Including 18 Murders and 27 Attempted Murders
More than 50 law enforcement officers participated in the arrests of the three new defendants and the execution of three search warrants on June 2, 2021. The other four new defendants are already in federal custody on other charges.
The second superseding indictment was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner; Special Agent in Charge Timothy Jones of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department.
Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner stated, “This violent street gang committed more than 40 homicides and attempted murders in total. This is not about numbers – each of those shootings represents a victim whose family will never see again, or a survivor of a non-fatal shooting who will never be the same. We are determined to root out the sources of violence from our neighborhoods and will continue to work with ATF, BPD and our other law enforcement partners to reduce violent crime and deadly drug dealing and hold accountable those who bring them to our streets.”
“These indictments are the result of relentless investigative efforts between ATF and our law enforcement partners, utilizing crime gun intelligence resources to connect the dots between the many incidents of violence,” said ATF Baltimore Special Agent in Charge Tim Jones. “ATF remains committed in our mission to identify offenders in Baltimore City who are committing murders, shooting, and violence, preventing citizens from living in safe communities.”
“This indictment represents the hard work of the men and women of the Baltimore Police Department, and our federal partners in holding criminals accountable for the violence in our city. We will continue to work collaboratively in going after individuals who are committing acts of violence, bringing drugs and guns into our neighborhoods and intimating the citizens of Baltimore.”
The following defendants, all from Baltimore, are charged in the second superseding indictment:
Desmond Butler, a/k/a Dez, age 23; Darell Carter, a/k/a Black Ice, age 24; Correy Cawthorn, a/k/a Fat Correy, age 22; Michael Chester, a/k/a Mikkie, age 22; Darien Coleman, a/k/a DCole, age 20; Gary Creek a/k/a Hov, age 39; Richard Grier, a/k/a Rich Homie, age 20; Robert Harris-Howell, a/k/a Slim, age 29; Dayon Jeter, a/k/a Savage and Day On Geter, age 22; Desean Johnson, a/k/a Boosie, age 23; Raekwon McMann, a/k/a Ray Ray, age 23; Keishonne Moore, a/k/a Keedie, age 23; Rashaud Nesmith, a/k/a Shaud, age 20; Tyeshawn Rivers, a/k/a Shawn, age 21; and Alonzo Tunnell, a/k/a Lo, age 29.
According to the 11-count indictment, from at least 2015 to May 27, 2021, Correy Cawthorn, Desmond Butler, Darrell Carter, Michael Chester, Darien Coleman, Gary Creek, Richard Grier, Dayon Jeter, Raekwon McMann, Rashaud Nesmith and Tyeshawn Rivers were part of the Triple C criminal enterprise. The indictment alleges that Triple C (Cruddy Conniving Crutballs) is a violent street gang that operated throughout Baltimore City, and ran street-level drug distribution “shops” in the Darley Park and Orchard Ridge neighborhoods in east and northeast Baltimore, where they distributed heroin, fentanyl, crack cocaine, and marijuana, among other controlled substances.
The second superseding indictment further alleges that Triple C members engaged in a pattern of criminal racketeering activity including acts including 18 murders, 27 attempted murders of rival gang members and narcotics dealers, narcotics trafficking, illegal firearms possession, robbery, carjacking, assault and witness intimidation and retaliation. Law enforcement seized 15 firearms that were used and/or possessed by members of the Triple C gang. Members of the gang allegedly earned respect from fellow members and maintained or advanced their position in the gang by engaging in criminal activities in furtherance of the gang, and particularly violent acts directed by Triple C leadership.
The second superseding indictment alleges that Creek founded Triple C as an alternative gang to the “Black Guerilla Family,” and established a hierarchy within the group, positioning Carter and Cawthorn in prominent roles. Creek allegedly took contract murders on behalf of Triple C and ordered other members to fulfill the contract. Triple C rules allegedly included members having access to firearms and providing firearms to members; removing arrested members from social media chats and group text messages to avoid law enforcement recovering the communications on the arrested members’ phones; and sharing members’ locations through their cell phones. The second superseding indictment alleges that Triple C members used over a dozen different firearms to commit acts of violence, often trading with each other or with associates to avoid detection through ballistic evidence.
According to the second superseding indictment, Triple C members routinely used social media websites to enhance the gang’s status and to identify and locate victims. Triple C members and associates posted photographs and rap videos to these social media websites in which they flaunted firearms, the superiority of the gang, and threatened to kill those who stood in the way of the gang. Members also allegedly used the sites to communicate with each other and share information concerning possible retaliation for violent crimes committed by gang members.
As detailed in the second superseding indictment, Triple C members supported rap artists or were burgeoning rap artists themselves, who would support Triple C by including lyrics about the gang in their songs. For example, in one rap artist’s music video on social media, the lyrics included “ain’t no Crip or no Blood, I’m Triple C baby.” Several alleged members and associates of Triple C are in the video dancing and waving firearms during the rap. In addition, gang members allegedly wore clothing touting the gang and warning against “snitching,” and promoted the gang by giving away clothing, such as t-shirts and hats.
Further, the second superseding indictment alleges that Triple C members and associates used social media chats and text messages to discuss, among other things, past criminal acts; the location and activities of other members; rival gangs and drug traffickers; the arrest or incarceration of members; the identities of individuals suspected of cooperating with law enforcement and proposed action to be taken against them; plans regarding the commission of future crimes and drug distribution; and ways to conceal these crimes from law enforcement.
Incarcerated members of Triple C allegedly used jail telephones to disseminate information about arrests and releases of members and associates; to warn of investigations; to publicize the identities of persons believed to be cooperating with law enforcement; to order assaults and murders of enemies of the enterprise; and to request money from Triple C members who were not incarcerated. Knowing the jail calls are recorded, incarcerated Triple C members and associates allegedly made calls using other inmates’ account numbers to conceal their identities.
The second superseding indictment seeks the forfeiture of any property constituting or derived from the racketeering conspiracy and narcotics distribution, including cash, drugs, 16 firearms, 250 rounds of ammunition, and any other proceeds.
If convicted, the 12 defendants charged with racketeering face a maximum of life in prison for the racketeering conspiracy. The defendants all face a mandatory minimum of 10 years and maximum of life in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, including 280 grams or more of crack cocaine and detectable amounts of fentanyl, heroin, and marijuana; and a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for conspiracy to possess a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. Johnson and Moore each face a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison, consecutive to any other sentence imposed and up to life in federal prison for possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. Harris-Howell, Tunnell, Cawthorn, Moore, and Johnson each face a maximum of 20 years in federal prison for possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine. Finally, Harris-Howell faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for possession of a firearm and ammunition by a prohibited person. Dayon Jeter, Michael Chester and Darien Coleman were arrested on June 2, 2021 and had initial appearances in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. Chester and Coleman were ordered to be detained pending trail and Jeter has a detention hearing scheduled for June 7, 2021 at 11:30 a.m. Eleven other defendants are already detained on related federal or state charges and will have an initial appearance in the coming weeks. Creek is on pre-trial release and is expected to surrender to federal authorities today for an initial appearance scheduled at 1:00.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
A total of 10 defendants charged in the previous indictments in this case have pleaded guilty. Eight have been sentenced to between three and 17 years in federal prison. Two are awaiting sentencing.
This case was made possible by investigative leads generated from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ (ATF) National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN). NIBIN is the only national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence to aid in solving and preventing violent crimes involving firearms. NIBIN is a proven investigative and intelligence tool that can link firearms from multiple crime scenes, allowing law enforcement to quickly disrupt shooting cycles. For more information on NIBIN, visit https://www.atf.gov/firearms/national-integrated-ballistic-information-network-nibin.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended the ATF and the Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation and thanked the FBI and the Office of the Baltimore City State’s Attorney for their assistance in the investigation and prosecution. Mr. Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia C. McLane, who is prosecuting the case.
FEATURED UPDATE:May.30: A man identified as Individual A in an indictment of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert was a student at the school where Hastert worked at the time the alleged “misconduct” against the individual took place, according to a source familiar with the case.
In addition, sources say, there is a second individual who was allegedly victimized in a similar way by Hastert when he was a student. According to sources familiar with the investigation, this person neither asked for nor received any money from Hastert, as Individual A is alleged to have done.
The alleged “misconduct” referenced in the indictment was of a sexual nature involving a male, and dated back to Hastert’s time as a high school wrestling coach and history teacher in Yorkville, Illinois, sources with knowledge of the case told ABC News.
#AceNewsServices – FERGUSON – Nov.25 – I started today with a post about a police officer not being indicted for killing Michael Brown. l decided to finish with this small post related to how the family of Michael Brown feel and how the US government is handling the situation.
Monday night’s protests were far more destructive than any of those that followed Brown’s death, with more than a dozen businesses badly damaged or destroyed.
Authorities reported hearing hundreds of gunshots, which for a time prevented fire crews from fighting the flames.
There were 61 arrests in Ferguson overnight, many for burglary and trespassing, St. Louis County Police spokesman Brian Schellman said.
There were 21 arrests in St. Louis, where protesters broke some store windows along South Grand Avenue, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said.
Governor Jay Nixon issued a statement saying he was calling in more National Guard troops to assist law enforcement in Ferguson, but he didn’t say how many additional troops or how long they would remain.
Jon Belmar, chief of the St. Louis County police, said that unless his agency could bring in 10,000 officers,“I don’t think we can prevent folks who really are intent on destroying a community.”
The grand jury’s decision means that Wilson, who is white, will not face any state criminal charges for killing Brown, who was black and unarmed.
Attorney Benjamin Crump said at a news conference Tuesday that he and the rest of the Brown family’s legal team objected to St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch’s decision to call a grand jury and to not appoint a special prosecutor.
#AceNewsServices – FERGUSON – Nov.20 – With all the news related to the long awaited verdict on the death of Michael Brown, right or wrong, a young man died.
Protesters are gathering in support of Michael Brown in and around St. Louis as they nervously await what many believe will be an inevitable no-indictment vote in the coming days by a grand jury for the officer who shot him Daily Mail reported.
‘Demonstrators held a ‘die-in’ Sunday to mark 100 days since the unarmed Ferguson, Missouri teen was killed. They also convened to, among other things, prepare for the imminent court decision by issuing ‘rules of engagement‘ for police there for crowd control, the New York Times reports.
#AceNewsServices – BRITAIN – Nov.16 – I have for a number of years worked as a volunteer and studied charities tactics ,in raising money. This expose disgusts me and is an indictment of today’s society whereby in good faith people give money to charities, having had their heart strings pulled for a worthy cause.Meanwhile thousands go in the pockets of the directors and campaigners of these bastions of society, under the words – Administration Costs – Expenses and most of all Salaries.
This is called stealing other peoples money: And it is WRONG !
‘The Great British rake-off… what really happens to the billions YOU donate to charity: Fat cat pay, appalling waste and hidden agendas’
Today the Sunday Mail revealed these amazing figures and they are truly astonishing.
There are more than 195,289 registered charities in the UK that raise and spend close to £80 billion a year. Together, they employ more than a million staff – more than our car, aerospace and chemical sectors – and make 13 billion ‘asks’ for money every year, the equivalent of 200 for each of us in the UK.
But many charities have become hungry monsters, needing ever more of our money to feed their own ambitions.
And while registered charities claim that almost 90p in every pound donated is spent on ‘charitable activities’, many spend at least half their income on management, strategy development, campaigning and fundraising – not what most of us would consider ‘good causes’.
My book, The Great Charity Scandal, is not an attack on charity, but an attack on charities that put their own interests first.
It exposes the truth about Britain’s charity industry, shows how our money is really spent and what needs to be done so that much more of the money we give to charity is used in the way we expect. It’s time to cut them down to size and refocus them on those they should be helping.
And here’s why… In England and Wales there are 1,939 active charities focused on children; 581 charities trying to find a cure for cancer; 354 charities for birds; 255 charities for animals, 81 charities for people with alcohol problems and 69 charities fighting leukaemia.
All have their own executives, administrators, fundraisers, communications experts and offices, but few will admit they are doing exactly the same thing as other charities. Take the case of Ethiopia. Two decades ago there were 70 international charities operating there, today the figure is close to 5,000.
A 2013 parliamentary inquiry into the charity sector found there were so many charities that the Charity Commission for England and Wales was struggling to ensure that most registered charities were genuine, rather than tax avoidance schemes or political campaigning groups.
The inquiry said the Commission, which receives more than 900 calls, letters and emails every day, didn’t have the staff to check whether our donations were actually going to real charitable purposes at all.
The number of active registered charities in England and Wales has remained relatively constant over the past 15 years, but there has been a massive rise in the number of charities raising £10 million a year or more – from 307 in 1999 to 1,005 today.
One possible explanation might be that we all got richer in the boom years and donated more to charity, keeping up our donations after the economic crash.
However, there is also an alternative interpretation.
Writing in the Economist in 1955, Cyril Northcote Parkinson gave us what came to be known as Parkinson’s Law: ‘Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.’ Parkinson recognised how bureaucracies find increasing quantities of real or fictitious work which leads to the apparent necessity for them to keep growing and pay themselves more because of the increasing amount of work they enthusiastically create for themselves.
The result is that some of our major charities have grown to become remarkably similar bodies. The £368 million-a-year Oxfam, £95 million Christian Aid, £59 million ActionAid, £49 million Cafod and £39 million Care International UK all state their aim is to reduce and end poverty in the Third World. So do War on Want, World Vision, Concern Worldwide and Comic Relief.
You could donate to the £16.3 million- a-year Breakthrough Breast Cancer, the £13.4 million Breast Cancer Care or the £10.6 million Breast Cancer Campaign… and the list goes on. This duplication is hugely expensive.
For example, all charities with an income over £25,000 have to file independently-audited accounts with the Charity Commission at a cumulative cost of £252 million in accountancy fees alone. Some people are beginning to understand this.
The Prostate Cancer Research Foundation, Prostate Action and Prostate Cancer UK laudably decided to merge, with the result that money spent on charitable causes and scientific grants doubled from £8.2 million to £16.5 million, largely due to significant savings in management costs.
The Charity Commission for England and Wales claims that £53 billion of the £63 billion raised is spent on what it calls ‘charitable activities’, an impressive £8.41 of every £10 raised. But its definition of ‘charitable activities’ is loose.
The RSPB hit the headlines after Sir Ian Botham said it was more interested in politics than wildlife. Is that true? Like many charities, the RSPB generates income from commercial activities – £21 million of its total £122 million income in the latest accounts.
But the costs of its commercial activities are £18.4 million, so only £2.6 million of the £21 million raised by selling things goes into the kitty for charitable purposes and administration. Of the £122 million total, the RSPB spent £115 million and retained £7 million for future use.
The £115 million can be split into £32.5 million generating its income and £82.6 million on what it classed as ‘charitable spending’ – roughly 72 per cent. But what does it class as ‘charitable expenditure’?
Some £4 million went on managing its membership, which raised £32 million. Most would regard this as an administration cost, rather than genuine charitable expenditure. Another £14.2 million was used for ‘Education and Communication’ and £34.7 million on ‘Research, Policy and Advisory’ – nearly £50 million on what could loosely be described on campaigns.
The final £29.6 million – just £2.57 of every £10 spent – was actually used for the proper front-line work that many donors might normally associate with the RSPB. Oxfam is another charity stalwart, which claims on its website that it spends £8.40 of every £10 raised ‘saving lives’.
But it’s entirely possible, even probable, that only about half the money raised is actually used for ‘saving lives’. If every working adult and pensioner in Britain contributed £10 per month to charity, the money raised probably wouldn’t be enough to pay the salaries of the executives of our registered charities.
Charity bosses are quick to defend themselves against accusations of ‘fat-cattery’, but the latest research suggests charity executives’ salaries have caught up with those in the public if not the private sector.
The 5,046-employee Oxfam appears to be one of the more frugal of the largest poverty charities. Between the start of the recession in 2008 and the end of 2013, the chief executive’s pay rose by about seven per cent to £108,575, well below inflation.
At Save the Children (£284 million-a- year, 4,025 employees) the highest- paid person’s remuneration rose from £128,310 in 2008 to £168,653 in 2012, an increase of 31 per cent. The highest-paid executive at the Red Cross Society (UK) (£228 million- a-year, 3,200 employees), earns between £200,000 and £210,000, an increase of about 18 per cent.
At Christian Aid (854 employees), the highest-paid employee’s salary rose by 40 per cent from 2008 to £126,206 in 2013 (though the 2013 salary was for a different person). While there isn’t compelling evidence of excessive pay, the cumulative total is huge.
The 5,046-employee Oxfam appears to be one of the more frugal of the largest poverty charities
Keira Knightley talks to refugees in Sudan on behalf of OXFAM
The six biggest anti-poverty charities have 142 staff being paid £60,000 a year or more and 17 with salaries of more than £100,000. In all, about 16,000 charity staff are paid more than £60,000 a year and perhaps 3,000 are getting more than £100,000.
The rewards at smaller charities can, though, appear surprisingly generous. In its heyday, The Princess Diana Memorial Trust (now defunct) had an executive earning between £110,000 and £120,000 for distributing about £6.3 million a year with 15 staff.
The chief executive of the Serpentine Trust that manages two small art galleries in Central London paid its chief executive more than the boss of Oxfam received. This year has seen several major bust-ups between Government and the charity sector.
Oxfam angered the Coalition with its report on poverty in Britain, as did the RSPCA when it attacked plans for a badger cull. Many other charities have also been tempted away from their main focus, into campaigning.
Charities such as Forum for the Future, Friends of the Earth and Green Alliance have been very successful in influencing government policy. Their greatest success was probably in 2008 when the Climate Change Act was passed into law, which by the Government’s own estimate will cost £760 per household every year for four decades.
But many of these charities are funded predominantly by the taxpayer, rather than public donations. Indeed, a number of commentators have identified that many do little in the way of good works, but are actually campaigning organisations or ‘fake charities’.
About 27,000 British charities are dependent on the Government for three quarters or more of their funding. Without Government cash, many would collapse. Nevertheless they spend much of their time and money lobbying the Government rather than doing what most people would consider ‘charitable work’.
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) is probably the most effective organisation in the anti-smoking lobby, and is very clear that it is a campaigning group. In 2013, ASH was given £150,000 from the Department of Health, £447,074 from other charities, £125,000 from one legacy and possibly only about £6,000 from voluntary donations.
So, however worthy ASH’s intentions, it’s not obvious that it is a charity whose purposes are widely supported by an enthusiastic public eager to donate. There’s nothing wrong with lobbying. But the issue is whether an organisation that is mainly focused on campaigning deserves to promulgate its opinions under the banner of being a ‘charity’ while using its charitable status to avoid paying tax on its income.
Britain’s charities haven’t always been so politically active. Until 2004, any form of political lobbying by a charity could only be ‘incidental or ancillary to its charitable purpose’ and could not be a charity’s ‘dominant’ activity.
Charities have many ways of raising money but most controversial is ‘Face to Face’ fundraising, often called ‘charity mugging’ or ‘chugging’. Chuggers aren’t permitted to take cash directly from us. Instead they usually try to get us to set up a direct debit giving say £5 or £10 a month.
Most chuggers work for chugging agencies and are typically paid between £7.50 and £9.50 an hour. Charities will usually pay out between £80 and £120 for each person who agrees to set up a direct debit. This means that pretty much all of a direct-debit donor’s first year’s donations, and sometimes almost two years’ donations, will go to the chugging agency and the chugger.
It’s only after this that the charity gets any money. Many charities that ask for millions in donations also receive a surprising amount of our money directly from the Government. We could call these charities the ‘double-dippers’.
Oxfam, for example picked up almost £137 million from taxpayers in Britain and abroad during the last year – 37 per cent of its revenue. Save the Children also got close to £137 million from taxpayers and Christian Aid was given about £39 million – 41 per cent of its funds.
Some charities refer to this money as ‘voluntary income’, though it’s not clear taxpayers would be so generous with donations if they knew how much of their money the charity was already receiving There is ample evidence that the charity industry is spiralling out of control.
To resolve this, the Charity Commission should force similar charities to merge and create different classes of charities. For example, ‘care charities’ could be used for genuine relief. They would have to show that no more than 15 per cent of revenue is spent on administration and fundraising and no more than ten per cent on campaigning.
A minimum of 70 cent would have to be used for genuine relief. ‘Campaigning charities’ could be allowed to spend more on campaigning, while ‘organisations with charitable status’ (OCS) could have the benefits of being a charity without seeking to raise money from the public – they could take the form perhaps of ‘educational charities’ or ‘political charities’.
In addition, when a charity comes asking for money or appears in the media, it should be under an obligation to let us know what kind of charity it is. The Charity Commission has no oversight over how charities spend our money. Each year, under the Gift Aid scheme, HMRC passes around £1 billion to them.
Just one per cent of this money – £10 million a year – would allow the Charity Commission to hire 200 auditors. And in the Third World, a single agency should have prime responsibility for organising all charity work in each country to avoid waste and duplication.
The Great Charity Scandal by David Craig will be published as an ebook by Thistle on November 27 and will be available on amazon.co.uk.