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Connecticut Fundraiser Banned From NY

Albany, NY (WIBX) – New York Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, has released the region’s five best and worst professional charity fundraisers.

Photo courtesy of ag.ny.gov

One company, Stage Door Music Productions, Incorporated, based out of Waterbury, Connecticut, was named as the professional fundraiser for three of the top five worst fundraising companies in the region.

Among the charities the company oversaw was the Volunteer Fireman’s Convention Committee of Oneida County. Out of nearly $12,000 worth of donations received, the group saw less than 20 percent of that money.

According to officials with the Attorney General, following an undercover investigation into the company at their Albany call center, an investigator was trained to carry out fraudulent practices. Other practices included some telemarketers giving the impression they were with law enforcement or failing to tell donors that they were professional fundraisers.

In response to the company’s behavior, Schneiderman said he will continue to protect state residents from fundraising scams.

“My office will not tolerate the exploitation of generous New Yorkers and we will continue to put these operations out of business, while safeguarding the integrity of charitable giving throughout the state,” Schneiderman said.

Stage Door Music Productions was banned from fundraising in the state of New York at the end of November. Also, the company’s president, Robert Donato, is permanently banned from soliciting charitable contributions in New York. In a settlement with the state, the company is forced to pay $1.2 million. Donato is also forced to pay $40,000.

Schneiderman said those donating should be confident in where their money goes.

“Especially in these tough economic times, the people of our state really deserve to know that their hard-earned dollars are going where they’re intended to go, and not just being used for overhead and fundraising costs.”

Calls to Robert Donato and Stage Door have yet to be returned.

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