Judgment Awarded Against Suspect Charity Aiding Joplin Tornado

joplin tornado 2011.jpg
Photo: Albert Samaha
The Joplin tornado leveled the town and killed more than 160 people.
Here's an update to a story we originally reported on back in July.

Yesterday, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced that his office had received a consent judgment against Puerto Rico-based charity accused of fraudulently soliciting donations to help victims of the May 22 Joplin tornado.

According to the AG's office, soon after the tornado, Alivio Foundation began soliciting donations through a PayPal link on its website and through Crowdrise, an online donation conduit. Alivio claimed the donations would go to Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri and St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Marshfield to be use to assist survivors and relatives of Joplin tornado victims.

In order to encourage donations, Alivio posted on its website pictures of the Joplin devastation and links to various news stories about the tornado. Koster said neither religious organization had ever heard of the Alivio Foundation prior to his office taking action.

"Unfortunately, there are always those who will take advantage of unsuspecting consumers during times of tragedy," Koster said.

Under the agreement, Alivio is prohibited from further soliciting donations in Missouri and is required to transfer all funds ostensibly collected for Joplin tornado victims to the Attorney General's Merchandising Practices Restitution Fund, to be distributed to benefit the tornado victims through Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri and St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Marshfield. Koster said that amount is almost $9,000.

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