PA Files Charges in Alleged Charity Scam

The Pennsylvania attorney general's office has filed a lawsuit against a North Carolina company and two telemarketers that worked for it on charges of making false claims in fundraising pitches.

The company, The Publishing Group, Charlotte, NC, was a for-profit business that collected $200,000 from Pennsylvania residents, the attorney general's office said.

The company hired Richard Lazar of Bucks County, PA, and David Feldman of Las Vegas to conduct telemarketing activities on its behalf. The telemarketers called Pennsylvania businesses asking them to purchase advertising in publications run by The Publishing Group, according to the charges.

The supposed publications were called the Law Enforcement Times, The Drug Prevention News, The Volunteer Fireman and The Rescue Squad, the attorney general's office said. The Publishing Group claimed that advertising revenues would benefit police, firefighters, rescue workers and drug prevention groups, according to the charges.

However, none of the funds collected by The Publishing Group went to benefit these groups, the state's suit claimed.

The state is seeking restitution from The Publishing Group to be distributed to public-safety groups, as well as civil penalties.

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