THIS DATABASE of disciplinary actions was compiled from electronic records supplied by 12 states and from press releases provided by the Federal Trade Commission and 24 state attorneys general. Information about a small number of cases came from news reports.
Reporters sometimes could not determine the outcome of a case. Often these cases require no admission of wrongdoing, simply an assurance of compliance in the future. The dates listed for these actions may reflect when cases were created or closed, lawsuits were filed, when settlements were signed or when a news story was published.
Some actions were taken against multiple parties or involved regulators from more than one state. If multiple states levied a penalty, fine amounts were divided evenly because the actual breakdown was not always available. Some multi-party fines were split the same way.
Many charities share similar names. So it is possible that an action taken against one charity could incorrectly be listed under another charity. If you are aware of missing disciplinary actions or if you see inaccuracies and can provide documentation or more complete information, please contact Times computer-assisted reporting specialist Connie Humburg at email@example.com.
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America's Worst Charities is the result of a yearlong collaboration between the Tampa Bay Times and the California-based Center for Investigative Reporting, the nation's largest and longest serving nonprofit newsroom dedicated to watchdog journalism. CNN joined the partnership in March 2013.