Do the Right Thing

Some people find research boring.  Not me.  Call me crazy but I just love reading the Florida Statutes.  Our state has a regulation for just about EVERYTHING!

For example, if you happen to have a charitable, non-profit organization and you solicit donations, Florida Statute 496, known as “The Solicitation of Contributions Act,” explains in painful detail what you must do in order to legally ask for donations in the State of Florida.  According to Chapter 496.404(5), a “charitable organization” is defined as:

“any person who is or holds herself or himself out to be established for any benevolent, educational, philanthropic, humane, scientific, artistic, patriotic, social welfare or advocacy, public health, environmental conservation, civic, or other eleemosynary purpose, or any person who in any manner employs a charitable appeal as the basis for any solicitation or an appeal that suggests that there is a charitable purpose to any solicitation. It includes a chapter, branch, area office, or similar affiliate soliciting contributions within the state for a charitable organization which has its principal place of business outside the state.”

Chapter 496.404(6) and (7) states that charitable organizations must register with the Division of Consumer Services of the Florida Department of Agriculture. On its website, the Division of Consumer Services clearly states:
The Solicitation of Contributions Act requires anyone who solicits donations from people in the State of Florida to register with the Department and renew annually. This applies to charitable organizations, sponsors, professional solicitors, as well as professional fundraising consultants. The Department collects registration fees and has authority to impose penalties for non-compliance. The Department provides financial disclosure regarding organizations on the online Gift Givers’ Guide or you can obtain information about a specific charity by calling our Consumer Assistance Call Center at 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352), or out of state 850-410-3800.”

Sounds reasonable, eh?

As part of my research into the whole non-profit scam, I started looking into an organization called Center for Family Empowerment, Inc. back in March of this year.  That’s when I started looking into some strange goings on at the house of councilman Frantz Pierre as published in The Frantz Files.  I discovered that a woman by the name of Marie Eleazard, who was registered to vote at L’il Frantzie P’s house in both the 2009 and 2011 elections, was also listed as a Director and Incorporator of Center for Family Empowerment, Inc. when that organization was formed on July 30, 2009.  A woman by the name of Florence Thony was also listed as a Director and an Incorporator.

On October 13, 2010, Center for Family Empowerment, Inc. filed its annual report with the Secretary of State, listing both Marie Eleazard and Florence Thony as Officers and Directors, and also showing Marie Eleazard as the Registered Agent.  Both were listed this time as living in Pembroke Pines, Florida.

On February 4, 2011, Center for Family Empowerment, Inc. filed its annual report with the Secretary of State, listing both Marie Eleazard and Florence Thony as Officers and Directors, and also showing Marie Eleazard as the Registered Agent.  Both were still listed as living in Pembroke Pines, Florida.

As I reported in The Mystery Man of NMB on March 20, 2012, Marie Eleazard was registered to vote, and in fact DID VOTE, in the 2009 and 2011 North Miami Beach City Council elections.  I wondered at the time how she did that all the way from Pembroke Pines!

Of course, when I discovered this discrepancy, I did my civic duty and filed a complaint with the Florida Elections Commission.  When questioned about her alleged voter fraud, Ms. Eleazard managed to talk the Commission into believing that when she moved from one county to the other she had neglected to change her voter’s registration.  For some reason, the Commission thought that was a plausible excuse, despite the fact that I discovered that both her driver’s license and nursing license had continuously reflected a Pembroke Pines address.  I guess the Florida Elections Commission wasn’t too interested in voter fraud last year.  I hope that’s changed.

As I reported in La Maison de Pierre on March 28, 2012, Center for Family Empowerment, Inc. asked for and received the sum of $10,000.00 from the North Miami Beach Police Department’s Law Enforcement Trust Fund.  As I just reported a few days ago in Boys Just Wanna Have Fun, that donation was presented to Ms. Florence Thony of Center for Family Empowerment, Inc. on September 23, 2010.  As I also reported, it does not appear that Center for Family Empowerment, Inc. has provided an accounting for this donation.  Not doing so would be a clear violation of Florida Statute 496.407(1) , which states, “A charitable organization or sponsor that is required to initially register or annually renew registration must file an annual financial report for the immediately preceding fiscal year upon a form prescribed by the department.”

For some crazy reason, a month after I wrote about this LETF donation and its connection to someone who was registered to vote in Frantz Pierre’s house, when Center for Family Empowerment filed its annual report on April 30, 2012, neither Marie Eleazard nor Florence Thony were listed as principles any longer.  But, I’m sure that’s just an uncanny coincidence.

Getting back to the financial disclosure of charitable organizations required by the Division of Consumer Services of the Florida Department of Agriculture, I decided to check out several organizations.

First I clicked the link provided called  “Gift Givers’ Guide” and entered “Center for Family Empowerment, Inc.”  I got the following response:  No result found for Center for Family Empowerment, Inc.

Hmmmmm, that’s curious, eh?

I then decided to check out the other “non-profit” organization that requested and received the sum of $4,000.00 from the LETF, Social Harmony Club, a/k/a Social Harmony Foundation, Inc.  I got this reponse:  No result found for Social Harmony Foundation, Inc.

That’s also curious.

Finally, I decided to check out the organization known as Actions for Better Future, Inc., the company that is run by one Karyne S. Pompilus of Lauderdale Lakes.  As I first reported in Playing Identity Politics, Ms. Pompilus keeps coming before the North Miami Beach City Council to solicit donations from either the City or the Police Department’s Law Enforcement Trust Fund.  (As an aside, Ms. Pompilus also has a relationship of a sort with Frantz Pierre, as I reported in Yes, let’s prevent a real Back to School Crime!)  Actions for Better Future, Inc. also solicits donations online at its website.  You guessed it!  This was the response I received from the Division of Consumer Service’s Gift Givers’ Guide:  No result found for Actions for Better Future, Inc.

Now, in all fairness, as an alternative to using the online Gift Givers’ Guide, the Division of Consumer Service also states on its website, “you can obtain information about a specific charity by calling our Consumer Assistance Call Center at 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352).”  It’s quite possible that all three of these organizations are registered to legally solicit donations, but for some reason are not showing up online.  I fully intend to drop a dime tomorrow when the Division of Consumer Services is open just to make sure these three organizations are doing the right thing.

If you have a non-profit corporation, and you solicit donations in the State of Florida, please make sure you are not breaking the law before you get busted.  I’m just saying.

This has been a Public Service Announcement.  Just doing my civic duty.  No thanks necessary.

Stephanie Kienzle
“Spreading the Wealth”

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2 Comments

  1. […] Department of Agriculture’s Division of Consumer Services, which resource I reported in Do the Right Thing.  Again, I’m not a North Miami resident and I have no idea why relocating this organization […]

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  2. […] if not all” did not include one Pembroke Pines resident Marie Eleazard, who, I proved through extensive research of public records, NEVER LIVED at La Maison de […]

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