Sunday, October 09, 2011

Millions in fundraising from so-called charity pays paltry "death benefits" for state trooper families

Following up on a story Grits covered in August, the SA Express-News today delves into the finances of the Texas Highway Patrol Association, a so-called "charity" that spends barely any of the millions of dollars it raises for its stated purpose - helping families of state troopers slain in the line of duty - and instead spends most of its money on fundraising costs and executive pay. When I received a call from them, the telemarketer said he was calling from the "Texas Highway Patrol," but the group is unaffiliated with the Department of Public Safety, which has publicly disavowed them.

The full article is being embargoed for several days (your correspondent was interviewed for the story), but they did post a set of charts giving details of the group's finances. Here are the organization's revenues for recent years (amounts in dollars):

And here's how much they actually spent on "death benefits" for families of dead troopers over the same period:

Assholes. How is it that the IRS, the Department of Justice or the Texas Attorney General hasn't pulled the plug on this scam and others like it long ago? As, Grits wrote in August, "This group is about as much about helping troopers as buzzards are about helping roadkill."


Merchant Banker said...

"Good Lord. That's the most exciting new idea I've heard in years."

Monty Python - Merchant Banker Sketch

Anonymous said...

A lot of young people are desperate for cheap fast ways to make money for living expenses and education loans and medical bills.

I've been recommending to all of them to set up these type of scams.

I knew a woman who specialized in doing the "toys for tots" scams back in the 80s in small cities of less than about 5,000 people.

She told me that if they handed the "sponsors" $2,500 with no accounting for the funds, the suckers would endorse them the next year.

I forget the payout ratio but it was in the 20 to 30 times area after expenses.

Anonymous said...

Check out the Texas Fraternal Order of Police. Follow their money.

Anonymous said...

These are the same suckers who blindly support the ideals of the KKK under the guise of law and order. These fools may be easy picking for the scam artist but these are the same fools who are anti immigration and support the weed scoff laws that are bringing our country to its knees. I say let the scammers take their money and power so the thinking people of this country can get things back on track. Immigration reform and decriminalizing marijuana.

KBCraig said...

The various "X Police Association" stickers I see prominently mounted on cars make me chuckle.

What they really are, are "I-support-the-police-so-please-don't-ticket-me" stickers.

Thin Blue Line stickers are barely more subtle, but serve the same purpose.

Phillip Baker said...

I could well be wrong, but is this not the same scam that Texas Monthly did a story on years ago- like in the late 70's? I recall from that article that this is the longest running scam in the state, albeit legal. The article was occasioned by the failed attempt in the Lege to address the problem- failed because certain lawmakers were quite protective.

I have a friend who worked for this bunch. A young guy who needed a job, so he made their calls. He said he got paid $10/hr, but made the employer around $100/hr. He got caught smoking a doobie in his car at noon by an upper and fired, but after a bit they called him back to work for them. He was quite good, and dollars trumped any outrage over pot use. lol

Anonymous said...

This scam has been running for more than a decade now, the Texas Highway Patrol Association is operated by disgraced former State Rep Lane Denton, a convicted felon found guilty in 1995 of diverting $67,201 from the Texas Department of Public Safety Officers Association (a legitimate organization) while serving as its executive director in 1988-89. The felony conviction resulted in Denton receiving 2 months in jail, 6 years probation, and a $6000 fine plus full restitution of the $67,201.

Anonymous said...

I sniffed this out when a guy, claiming to be a state trooper, called, sporting a very obvious New England accent. I asked him what part of Massachusetts he was from and he hung up. LOL!