BEACHWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — It’s a cancer charity charade that’s outraged a community.
A New Jersey couple is accused of running a phony group that claimed to help children battling cancer, but instead, investigators say they helped themselves, reports CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman.
It’s not all that surprising that Carl and Denise Monto would not answer the door when a reporter showed up at their Beachwood home on Thursday. Neighbors said someone was inside. After all, Carl and his wife, Denise, and their business partner, Patrick Caffrey, who lives inside a gated community in Matawan, have been charged by New Jersey’s Attorney General with running a phony charity.
Even the one neighbor on the Montos’ block willing to say some kind words, was taken aback by the allegations.
“Yes, I’m shocked,” the woman said.
Attorney General Paula Dow said the three claimed donations would pay for cars that would be sold to help children with cancer.
“You know maybe you view it as complicated, but, really, they were taking advantage of tax laws for charitable organizations to basically rip off the government, rip off consumers and to buy luxury cars which were then sold overseas. That’s what this was all about,” Dow said.
“The vehicles that they purchased were then exported to countries, including Canada, Finland, Russia. There is no indication that any of the vehicles were used for any charitable purposes at all,” said New Jersey Consumer Affairs Director Tom Calcagni.
How does such a scam really hurt people? Here’s Elissa Conoscente, whose 7-year-old boy has been fighting cancer since he was 4 years old.
“If they claim to be helping people and helping children I don’t know they can possibly look a child, sick one or not, in the eye, knowing that they’re stealing from them and their future,” Conoscente said.
Night now, these offense are not criminal but civil. But if these three alleged scammers are found guilty they looking at tens of thousands of dollars in fines and they will no longer be allowed to operate websites selling cars or claiming to be a charity.
Attorney General Dow said “millions” were made by the phony charity in the resale of luxury cars.
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